Gohmert Says Estate Tax is Theft: ‘Jesus Never Advocated the Government go Steal’

December 3, 2009

(ChattahBox)—Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) never fails to disappoint when he decides to speak on the House floor. He is perhaps, the most ridiculous member of Congress today and that’s saying quite a lot considering, Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Steve King (R-IA), John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Todd Akin (R-MO). OH, and let’s not leave out Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC). There are certainly other right-wing members of Congress that are off the rails, but the above group would appear on anyone’s top wingnuttery list.

So, what nonsense did Gohmert come up with now? While debating the extension of the estate tax today, he looked to the Bible for inspiration and decided that Jesus would be against it. That’s right, Jesus would want the wealthiest families that make up less than one percent of all Americans to receive a tax break.

The House voted today 225-200, to keep the 2009 estate tax rate in place, at 45 percent for estates valued at more than $3.5 million. And the Pomeroy House bill also permanently exempts couples’ estates from estate taxes, worth up to $7 million. Under a Bush administration measure, the estate tax was due to expire on Dec. 31 and reappear in 2011, at a rate of 55 percent for $1 million estates. A capital gains tax on everything but the first $1.3 million in inherited assets, will replace estate taxes in 2010, unless Congress acts.

Rep. Gohmert rose to speak against the estate tax extension, telling a long-winded story about his great aunt having to pay estate taxes and losing her ranch to the IRS. The Congressman from Texas then invoked Jesus, claiming that estate taxes were outright sinful thievery:

“Now, after someone dies and someone comes in and steals from them, we consider that in most society reprehensible. That’s just despicable. I have sentenced people personally to prison for doing that.” […]

“But when the government comes in, because we have the power to pass laws and legalize theft that otherwise would be considered reprehensible, it’s okay. But it is not okay. … Jesus never advocated the government go steal. He said ‘you do it. Do it with your own money, don’t go steal it from somebody else.’ And that is why this should not pass.”


As pointed out by Think Progress, “An estate tax at the 2009 level exempts 99.8 percent of estates and only affects about 100 small businesses and farms, almost all of which will be able to pay the tax without selling assets.”

And a capital gains tax would actually take a bigger chunk out of inherited assets, especially if assets are sold. A study done by John Buckley, chief tax counsel for the House Ways and Means Committee, found that only 7,500 households would face estate taxes this year, but if the estate tax is allowed to expire, about 75,000 estates would be hit with capital gains taxes in 2010.


2 Responses to “Gohmert Says Estate Tax is Theft: ‘Jesus Never Advocated the Government go Steal’”

  1. Wayne Jordan on December 4th, 2009 9:29 am

    Am I reading this bill correctly? Taxing the purchase price rather than the market price of assets means that the heirs all those who suffered stock market losses will be paying taxes on the purchase price of the stock, not the devalued market price.
    Either way, Estate taxes are no more thievery than an income tax.

  2. Michael on December 4th, 2009 11:45 am

    This vote did one thing and one thing only- it threw small business owners, farmers, and ranchers under the bus. The estate tax destroys jobs, it destroys businesses, and right now it is the last thing our struggling economy needs. See what I mean at: http://estatetaxtruth.org/videos/
    Lets hope the Senate is a little bit more intelligent than the House.

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