News

As you have heard from the news much is happening regarding tax reform.  Much more is happening than has reached the public media.

Today, the Senate is drafting its version the tax bill.  Over 100 amendments have been proposed to the version of the bill released last Thursday.  The House bill is expected to be considered by the full chamber next week. 

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Today the American Business Defense Council released a web ad urging Senator Hatch to repeal the death tax in tax reform, targeted to saturate the state of Utah. We've prepared similar ads for 8 more states and will be watching closely as Senate leadership rolls our their tax reform bill this week. Anything short of achieving full death tax repeal will undermine a 20+ year Republican goal in tax reform and will put Republicans in the position of defending a 40% death tax. 

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Last week, the White House held a meeting last week with officials of organizations that Administration officials are relying on to help promote the tax reform package.  I was invited to participate and it provided some excellent information.  Some of which I was aware of and have relayed to you in my previous columns.  Some of which was legislatively technical.
 

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We topped another hurdle! 
 
The President announced yesterday that full repeal of the hated Death Tax would be part of the tax framework he released to, increased prosperity, individual freedom, and greater fairness
 

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Last week the ultra-liberal Washington Post had an editorial attacking President Trump's call for repeal of the Death Tax.  Unsurprisingly, it was filled with the clichéd and often-refuted arguments in favor of the tax. 

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Today is the 101st anniversary of the Death Tax.  President Woodrow Wilson using the dark clouds of World War as the excuse to push it through Congress.  More money was needed for war.

It is as if some 19th century Rahm Emanuel, current Mayor of Chicago and former Bill Clinton aide, had counselled Wilson by saying "You never let a serious crisis go to waste." 

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The battle over the GOP health care bill is at its peak right now, and yesterday Mitch McConnell decided to postpone the vote on the Senate bill.  He's a skilled operator and one must surmise that he's very close to getting the 50 votes he needs. 

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The shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise Wednesday morning was a shocker but also personal.  A long time friend of mine, Congressman Gary Palmer, represents the sixth district of Alabama.   He also plays short stop on the Republican Congressional baseball team.   Gary was on the field when Scalise was shot near second base.  I texted Gary when I heard of the shooting and thank God he was not injured.  My prayers are out to Congressman Scalise and the Congressional staff who were shot.

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This week, there are many items I want to mention, if only briefly.

First the good news.  President Trump's 2018 budget proposal includes a repeal of the Death Tax.  Specifically, it says the President would, "abolish the death tax, which penaliz­es farmers and small business owners who want to pass their family enterprises on to their children."

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Compromise is a word that we knew we'd be hearing in Congressional hallways as the fight to repeal the Death Tax heats up.  Recently it has come to our attention that some folks are floating a proposal to adopt a change in the Death Tax which would provide for a $5 million per person exemption with a tax rate of 15% on the remainder of the estate. 

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