(Alexandria, VA) -- Just minutes after the Senate narrowly defeated a motion to proceed with an up-or-down vote on making repeal of the federal death tax permanent after 2010, John Berthoud, President of the 350,000-member National Taxpayers Union (NTU), offered the following statement:
"Today's vote over death tax repeal wasn't about defeating a procedural motion
by a 57-41 margin -- it was about not respecting the larger margin of public
support for ending the Tax Code's assault on the American Dream.
Entrenched Senators on both sides of the aisle who shot down the idea of a simple
up-or-down vote on this vital issue apparently can't grasp the economic and moral
case for getting rid of the death tax that ordinary Americans already understand.
A recent Gallup poll showed that 58 percent of those surveyed thought the
death tax was 'unfair,' but a survey commissioned by the Tax Foundation
determined that an even stronger 68 percent backed total repeal of the levy.
Senators certainly can't use the deficit as an excuse for their continued
obstruction. The 42 lawmakers who voted today to block permanent death tax
repeal had a median pro-taxpayer score of just 9 percent on NTU's 2005 Rating of
Congress, which is based on every roll call vote affecting spending, debt, and
taxes. Those who voted to proceed had a median score of 70 percent. Obviously
the naysayers who voiced concern today about red ink in Washington haven't
backed up their words with votes to reduce runaway expenditures.
Senators who think the issue of death tax repeal is behind them had best look over
their shoulders. If they try hard enough, they'll see the millions of angry
Americans who believe that such a punitive, counterproductive, and repugnant tax
has no place in this country's law books.
This issue is far from settled, a fact that will confront politicians this summer on
the Senate floor or this fall in voting booths across America."
NTU is a non-profit, non-partisan citizen group working for lower taxes and smaller government at all levels. Note: Numerous studies, letters to Congress, and other examples of NTU's work to repeal the death tax are available at www.ntu.org.