Right Opinion

Deep in the Heart of Taxes...

Tony Perkins · Apr. 16, 2015

If this President gets his way, the meek won’t inherit the earth — the U.S. government will! That’s because our current tax code never says die, even when the person it’s taxing does. Thanks to the “death tax,” Americans have been mourning the loss, not just of their loved ones, but of the assets they spent their whole life building.

To cushion the blow, the new Republican majority is doing its best to give America some relief by introducing the “Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015.” Sponsored by Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) in the House (Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. has the companion bill), Congress would permanently roll back the estate tax that’s hurting so many middle class families and businesses.

Under the current system, the government takes a slice of the money, income, or property when it’s transferred from a deceased family member to the beneficiary. It’s especially outrageous when you consider that this is money that’s already been taxed when it’s earned! “This is a tax on success,” Rep. Brady exclaimed. And while the Left is fond of saying the death tax only affects the rich, the reality is that family farms, ranches, and small businesses are hit hardest. If a family doesn’t have the means to pay the death tax on a family farm or business, they’re sometimes forced to sell a portion — if not all — of their estate in order to comply.

In the words of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), the entire concept is “morally wrong.” “That’s not supposed to be something people have to deal with when they’re grieving for the loss of a loved one.” And in most cases, this isn’t pocket change. The IRS’s rates can be as high as 40 percent! “I guess when it comes to helping the wealthiest people in the country, it’s never enough,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said Tuesday. “While that may be a convenient soundbite, it isn’t a truthful one. Forbes explains that the "truly rich” don’t even pay the death tax. Instead, they hire a team of top attorneys and estate planners to shelter them from the pain that smaller businesses feel.

Not to mention, the Tax Foundation points out, that the death tax is a job-killer. Repealing it, they calculate, “would create 139,000 jobs … and increase wages by .7 percent.” In the broader picture, the death tax only brings in about 1.5 percent of federal revenue. So if liberals are banking on the death tax to bring in big bucks, they’re mistaken. As far as Republicans are concerned, that money would be better served flowing directly into the economy — especially since this administration would only use it to feed its radical social agenda.

If liberals still aren’t convinced, Brian Seasholes at Reason argues that the death tax is even bad for the environment! “Heirs — land-rich but cash-poor and in need of money to pay the death tax — sell off parcels of land in order to satisfy Uncle Sam. This leads to development of land which would have never been developed except for the death tax.”

This Thursday, the House has a chance to put a nail in the death tax’s coffin. Contact your Congressman and urge him to support H.R. 1105. Will Rogers once said, “The difference between death and taxes is that death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.” Well, death may not get worse, but it certainly gets more expensive. And it’s time for our leaders to do something about it.

Military’s Latest Casualty: the Constitution

The U.S. military swears an oath to support the Constitution — but not before Obama’s military leaders blame it for “modern sexism!” That was the stunning revelation from The Daily Caller, which found that the Obama military was actively teaching young troops that — not just the Constitution — but the Bible and Declaration of Independence were to blame for society’s gender inequality.

The training came courtesy of the Pentagon’s Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), whose materials claim that these “historical influences … allow sexism to continue.” As the Caller points out, the “Prejudice & Discrimination” course was mandatory for some service members — including some of the Navy’s medical personnel. “Quotes from the Bible can be misinterpreted as having a sexist influence when brought out of context and not fully understood,” the text suggests. “In 1776, ‘We the people…’ only included white men: Slaves and women were not included until later in history.”

Once reporters started sniffing around and asking questions, the courses suddenly vanished from the DEOMI website. Pentagon Spokesman Lt. Commander Nate Christensen, who’s has been the PR janitor at the Pentagon, continually mopping up behind the administration, insists that the curriculum is under review now that it has been exposed. But how do they undo the damage that has been done? More than 2,000 troops have been indoctrinated with this rubbish since 2011. And while the military learned its lesson with SPLC and removed its content from training materials, it obviously has a long way to go before it loosens the grip of political correctness on our nation’s fighting force. The military needs to not only stop this attack on our Constitution and our Christian heritage — they need to repair the damage they’ve already done. Under Obama, the United States military is almost unrecognizable — which is all the more reason for conservatives to pay close attention to the presidential race. If the last seven years have taught us anything, it’s that our nation needs a courageous candidate who won’t just babysit America’s demise — but snatch this country back from the edge. Don’t support people based on who the pundits think can win. Support people who you think can courageously lead the nation. In the meantime, click over to our website and let Defense Secretary Ash Carter know what you think of his “training.”

You Say You Want a Resolution…

Should pro-life organizations be forced to hire pro-abortion employees? Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) doesn’t think so. As if ordering groups to pay for abortion wasn’t enough, now the city of D.C. is trying to order those groups to staff their offices with people who support it! That’s the effect of the District’s “Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act,” which the city passed to openly target Christian and pro-life businesses and organizations. Under the bill, even a conservative group like FRC would be forced to hire people who are openly hostile to their values. If it sounds ridiculous, that’s because it is. In what alternate universe would the government strong-arm businesses to hire the competition — or in our case, opposition? Fortunately, the District is still under the management of the U.S. Congress — which has introduced two resolutions of disapproval: one on this measure and another on the city’s Human Rights Amendment. Under the guise of “tolerance,” D.C. passed a bill that would require religious schools to embrace homosexuality, and specifically, gay and lesbian student groups. Led by Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), the Republican Study Committee is asking for Congress to exercise its authority and protect schools from having to promote or participate in LGBT activities that violate their beliefs. Calling it an attack on religious liberty, Hartzler argues that “Americans are protected by the Constitution from being forced by their government to take actions that go against their religious beliefs. Forcing religious schools to go against their beliefs goes directly against our Constitution and shouldn’t be allowed.” Although both “discrimination” acts were signed into law by the D.C. Mayor, Congress still has the final say. And that say should be “no!” Encourage your members to support the Black and Hartzler bills to bring D.C. back into line with the First Amendment the city houses!

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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