Thursday, April 02, 2009
Obama Lied! This time about taxes
I have long felt that the Death Tax was morally wrong.

The Death Tax, for those of you who get your news from The View, is the tax on your estate after you die.

My opposition to it is pretty simple. You pay taxes, do your civic duty all of your life. At the end of your life, you've managed to scrape up a few pennies here and there which you want to leave to your family. It might be a business, like, say...a bakery or a medical practice. Or, it might be a farm with a significant amount of free and clear assets. You work all of your life to pay off debt while also paying your taxes, among them property taxes every year, and you think you've done right. But no! The damn government is going to get you one more time by destroying what you've spent your life creating.

Destroy? Surely not!

'Fraid so.

What else do you call a 45% tax rate? Hmm? That's not a friendly poke, that's a repeating stabbing in a dark alley!

George W. Bush and the Republicans worked very hard to kill the Death Tax. They knew that it decimates family farms, ranches, and small businesses. It was set to expire in 2010, but not anymore. Obama's got his greedy paws on Grandma's pocketbook.

Obama and the Democrats argue that they can't afford to kill the Death Tax.

That's rich in irony! Do you know why they feel they can't afford to kill the Death Tax? Quite obviously it is because they have been spending money like Paris Hilton at Fashion Week! They've been buying all kinds of unnecessary crap we don't need, or if we "need" it, we don't have to have it now. They've mortgaged the future of our children and our grandchildren, and now they've decided to go after Granny and Gramps too!

This is the very definition of fiscal irresponibility and the "redistribution of wealth" that is known by people who have studied forms of government as Socialism.

You doubt my claims? Let's take a look at the personal example, okay?

My family owns a farm in the Southwest. We farm somewhere around 15,000 to 18,000 acres, at least half of which is owned outright. All paid for. The rest of it is mostly rented ground that we've picked up by being exceptionally good at what we do. We take our responsibility very seriously and consider ourselves stewards of the land. We know that it is our job to care and protect the land for the next generation.

This farm is not just an investment. It is my father, uncle, and cousin's raison d’être. It is their life's work, their livlihood, and how they feed their families and the families of the 7 hired men and women we employ. Someday, I hope it will also be my husband's livlihood.

But at this rate, it won't be. Here's why:

Let's take a look at just the land assets that are owned. There are buildings, equipment, and the brand that would also be counted among the assets, but just the land outright will more than illustrate my point.

Let's consider the 10,000 acres, more or less, that were purchased by my grandfather and increased by my father and uncle. This land was purchased a long long long time ago and has been added to over the years, slowly. If this property were to be evaluated and valued because of a death, you would see a phenomenal number. Now, farmland in the midwest ranges widely in price due to fertility, water and mineral rights, etc. But, let's go with a figure on the low end of the range. The range is from $500 to $2500 per acre. Let's use $800.

$800 per acre on 10,000 acres is...$8,000,000.

That's not Conrad Hilton or Guggenheim money, but it is a serious sum, even if the the Democrats in Congress blow more than that on golf carts and aid to terrorists. If the owner of these acres died and it was taxed at the Obama-approved rate of 45%, the heirs are looking at a tax bill totalling $2,025,000. And, that's just on the land! It doesn't include any life insurance, investments, improvements, home, or other farm assets. How is this fair?

How is this even right? Is this The American Dream? Is this Obama's much-flogged Hope and Change?

How do the heirs even begin to pay this? There is no way, at least, no way to pay it and preserve the birthright. If you need to raise upwards of $2 million, you are going to have to sell off the assests. And guess what, it is kind of hard to be a profitable farmer these days, but harder still if you don't have any land on which to grow your crop.

But, of course, this isn't just about the land. There are other assets that get valued, like improvements to property: houses, barns, bins, elevator legs, warehouses, scales. There is equipment to consider: tractors, trucks, combines, grain carts, spray rigs, fuel islands, etc.

That tax bill has a way of ballooning up like you wouldn't believe. So, the heir may want to continue the family work, but has to gut the inheritance to keep a part of it. Did the Federal Government work 18 and 20 hour days, sweating, bleeding, and crying for 80 years? No. Did the Federal Government pay property taxes, income taxes, and sales taxes on the activity from that farm for 80 years? No!

The Death Tax is morally reprehensible. It is wrong. It is killing family farms and small family-owned businesses all over the USA. If you think that so-called "corporate farming" is an evil, that huge multi-national corporations have a strangle-hold on this country, ask yourself how that came about. Ask yourself how hard it would be to see someone appropriate your life's work. It's a lot like a kidnapping.

My father loves the land like he loves my sister and I. The farm is really an older brother. He was around before us, we've always known him. If I have to kill one of my siblings to pay for my father's death, is that right? Is it?

I don't think so. I put to you that I'm going to fire those 7 hired men before I kill my sibling. Then, I'll likely pare down on the other assets too, but it is hard to farm without tractors, planters, combines, etc. I'll do anything and everything to protect what my father, uncle, and grandfather worked so hard to build.

It's not personal, right? It's just business. But Congress and Obama want to perform an autopsy on my father and sell the parts to a medical supply house.

This is not right. It will never be right.

It is inconsistent with the American Dream, it is inconsistent with the tenets of freedom, it is an Obamanation.


Update: I got distracted by phone calls as I was writing this and skipped over a section that I had intended to include. I have corrected that above.
posted by Phoenix | 9:05 AM


At 6:19 PM, Blogger Eric said...

The worst part of it is that you're already taxed on every penny of income that was used to buy the land and all the other assets. Taxing the estate upon death is, in my opinion, a form of double-taxation which is *supposed* to be illegal.

What a joke our system has become.


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