Nevada GOP Senate Nominee Delivers Busted Tax Message, Runs from Questions

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"[...] In the warehouse of a family-owned clean diesel manufacturer in Sparks [Nevada], [GOP Senate nominee Sharron Angle] delivered a three-minute speech on her desire to permanently repeal the estate tax. When invited by the final speaker to stay and answer a few questions, she turned on her heel and rushed out a back door with a small cadre of staff members. [...]

Angle’s laissez-faire approach to the economy amid the worst recession in Nevada since the Great Depression has prompted repeated attacks from her opponent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. [...]

Wednesday, Dick Patten, president of the American Family Business Institute...did some arguing on Angle’s behalf. Patten claimed that repealing the estate tax, a proposal Angle supports, could create 1.5 million jobs.

Patten based his jobs claim on a 2009 study by former Congressional Budget Office economist Douglas Holtz-Eakin [...] The study, paid for by the [American Family Business Institute's] nonprofit arm, contends the tax motivates them to reduce the size of their estates by spending on leisure or other things rather than investing in a business that would be subject to the 55 percent tax. [...]

Proponents of the tax argue that the Holtz-Eakin study relied on faulty data, namely that most small businesses aren’t subject to the tax because of a sizable exemption and, therefore, these entrepreneurs aren’t under any disincentive to invest in their businesses. Rather, the tax targets the country’s wealthiest families, proponents argue. 

With the $3.5 million exemption, a wealthy heir 'would receiving more tax-free than the average worker earns in two lifetimes,' said Lee Farris, estate tax policy coordinator for United for a Fair Economy, which is lobbying Congress to reinstate the tax. [...]"

Read the full column by Anjeanette Damon in the Las Vegas Sun

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