What is your American Dream? For millions of Americans, starting a business or farm is an integral part of their Dream and their own identity. Someone starts with an idea and after years of hard work and ingenuity, they turn their idea into reality. Their small businesses create jobs for millions of people across America in the process.
Unfortunately, the American Dream is being dismantled by business-strangling taxes and regulations. The latest U.S. Census Bureau data reports that while 400,000 new businesses are created annually, 470,000 fail. It should be no surprise then that over half of our next generation tell pollsters they think the American Dream is dead.
The latest assault on the American Dream is a new regulation announced by bureaucrats at President Obama’s Department of the Treasury. They want to increase the death tax on family farms and businesses by their own authority. Their idea alone is bad enough, but the means they seek to do this are equally bad. This change to our tax code is an unmistakable part of President Obama’s attempt to rule by executive action rather collaborate with Congress – as required by our Constitution.
The entire principle of the tax on estates is immoral. Building a business, growing a farm,and growing wealth is hard but meaningful work. There is joy in it, but even greater joy than knowing you can leave your children better off than you were. As a small business founder and owner, I can say with certainty that those who start their own farms or businesses don’t do it to hand off 40 percent of their life’s work to the government. Hillary Clinton thinks the number should be 65 percent, by the way.
Furthermore, the problem with the Department of Treasury reinterpreting a generation or more of tax policy should be obvious. Congress is supposed to write our laws. This ensures that the will of the people is represented in our lawmaking. Allowing the IRS to change tax rates, and pull more estates into the death tax trap is like letting the fox guard the henhouse. Our Founders created a separation of powers that our president and his appointees hold in contempt. Congress was clear that the death tax should be abolished when the House of Representatives voted for H.R. 1105 last year with a bipartisan majority of 240-179. Rather than respect our Constitution and the will of the people, these bureaucrats are seeking a stealth increase to this immoral tax.
To make our economy grow we need to encourage business growth and capital formation, not punish it. We need more people to make the sacrifices that launch, grow, and preserve businesses and farms. There are rewards for success, but our government should not attempt to steal the biggest reward of all. The death tax has that effect not only in it monetary cost, but too often the business or farm must sell to pay the tax – ending the dream. Lastly, leaving our country better off than we found has to mean we respect our Constitution. Every member of Congress swore an oath to support and defend it.
Last month, I introduced the Protect Family Farms and Businesses Act (H.R.6100) to halt the Obama Administration’s backdoor tax increase. It will prohibit the new Obama Administration’s rule, or any like it, from going into effect. The bill already has over 60 cosponsors in Congress, support from over a hundred businesses organizations, many in our district, and a companion bill in the Senate introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio. Too much is on the line for too many for Congress to stand idle. The American Dreams is at risk, but we can take this one small step to save it.
Congressman Warren Davidson represents Ohio’s 8th Congressional District. He lives in Troy with his wife, Lisa, and two children.