OMB Watch to Senators Lincoln, Kyl: You’re Out of Your Minds

By April 3, 2009Economy, Taxation

Gee, after we say something passingly nice about the left-wing advocacy group OMB Watch, they attack two Senators for daring to challenge the death tax:

Long Overdue Outrage Over the Anti-Estate Tax Crowd

Both the New York Times and the Washington Post ran lead editorials this morning denouncing the attempt of Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) to give yet another tax cut to the children of the very richest Americans. Both editorials are spot on and raise excellent points about why Sens. Lincoln and Kyl seem to be both out of touch and out of their minds. In fact, both editorials express far more outrage and disdain for this proposed tax cut than I’ve ever seen before in any newspaper. (Read the Times and Post editorials.)

(Adam Hughes 04/02/09)

“Out of their minds.” OK, here’s the testmony of Eugene Sukup, chairman of the board of Sukump Manufacturing Company in Sheffield, Iowa, speaking at a November 2007 hearing of the Senate Finance Committee.

I’m not bragging when I tell you that businesses like Sukup Manufacturing are the backbone of our economy. By the same token, when a business like ours is sold off or shuttered, the loss to the economy is great. If Sukup closed today, 350 people would lose their jobs. But, that’s just the beginning. Without jobs, there’s no reason for a child care center. As people move on to other places, the restaurants and stores close down, the dentist moves to a bigger city with more customers. The loss would be felt in Iowa, in Arkansas, in South Dakota.

Now, to be clear, we’re a growing company. So, why would we close down or sell off? I’m here today to tell you that one of the greatest threats to our family-owned business is the estate tax. If my wife Mary and I died today, we estimate that our estate tax liability would be somewhere between $15 and $20 million dollars. The only way for my sons to pay that tax would be to sell off the business.

Folks will tell you that you can “avoid” the tax. Well, maybe that’s true in some cases, but it also involves extremely high financial planning costs including expensive life insurance policies that businesses pay year in and year out. Money that we put into life insurance policies and other financial planning tools to avoid the tax is money that we could have been putting into the business – hiring more employees and expanding into other states.  

Any insults about mental health you want to throw his way? Mr. Sukup is, after all, a member of the “anti-estate tax crowd.”

We bet most of his employees are, too.

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