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April Capitol Hill Watch Alert

The Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001 (H.R. 8)

The Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001 (H.R. 8) (To view the bill, visit http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d107:h.r.00008:) is scheduled to reach the entire House of Representatives the first week of April after the measure passed through the House Ways and Means Committee on March 29 (To view the action by the Ways and Means Committee, visit http://waysandmeans.house.gov/fullcomm/107cong/fc-sact.htm). This bill would erase the estate tax by 2011 with a savings to Americans of almost $193 billion.

The estate tax, first enacted in 1797, was never intended to be a permanent tax burden upon the American people. Until the 20th century, the estate tax was enacted during times of national crisis (Civil War, Spanish-American War, etc.) and then repealed once its purpose was fulfilled. However, in 1916, when the estate tax was again recreated, it became a permanent part of our national government.

Under today's estate tax laws, the Internal Revenue Service can take up to 60 percent of a taxpayer's possessions and investments after he dies. This has proven to be a tremendous loss to families of individuals who had spent a lifetime working and investing to provide a good economic foundation for their offspring.

Ironically, the estate tax is no great gain for the government. "Death taxes" are costly for the government to collect, especially when considering that the estate tax revenue yield is negligible. In fact, the only purpose for the estate tax is to redistribute income. Most often, the death tax burdens the very people it is intended to help such as women and minorities, farmers, small businessmen, and low-income families.

According to National Bureau of Economic Research economists Steven Venti and David Wise, the estate tax punishes people who live frugally and decently to give their children a better life. It propagates the philosophy, "Spend it before you die if you have it because if you do not, the government will get it."

Former President Clinton refused to sign the repealing of the estate tax law when it came up for a vote in 2000. President Bush has already announced his support for such legislation. If the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001 (H.R. 8) is passed, Americans will finally be able to offer their families an inheritance that can improve their own way of life and, in many cases, help the country's economy. Taxpayers have been burdened by the estate tax for over eighty years. It's time to set them free.

For more information on the estate tax, go to http://americanvoiceinstitute.org/Legislative_Agenda_Taxation.htm

What Can You Do?

Send a message to your national representatives expressing your support of the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001 (H.R. 8).

Contact Information:

Call your representatives and urge them to support the Death Tax Elimination Act of 2001(H.R. 8).

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representatives' offices.)

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.

Addressing Correspondence:

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative (last name):

To view a sample letter to a representative, go to http://www.americanvoiceinstitute.org/EstateTaxLetter.htm

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