Unlike the famous La Quebrada Cliff Divers in Acapulco Mexico who choose to dive forty meters headfirst into raging ocean tides with a depth of between six and twelve feet, small businesses and farms are being forced, if not pushed, off a financial cliff that was never intended.
The stories I read daily about the impending crisis on the estate tax leaves little if no time to prepare, let alone pray like the cliff divers, waiting for our elected officials to act. The cliff divers in Acapulco trusted their instincts and watched the ocean tides to perfectly time their dive. Families who own small businesses and farms are left to wrestle with the uncertainty of the next three weeks.
But there is a way out that doesn’t cost any taxpayer dollars. The Americans Standing for the Simplification of the Estate Tax (ASSET) have been watching the tides of the estate tax debate and now is the time to take the plunge.
The ASSET solution to the estate tax takes the first step in tax reform allowing both conservatives and progressives the opportunity to regain trust with each other towards achieving the grand bargain that is so elusive. While repealing the current collection method of the estate tax, it installs a more efficient and targeted approach tied to the sale of assets at later dates, and ultimately could become a revenue raiser.
Building a coalition in Washington takes time. The ASSET coalition has been developing relationships on both sides of the aisle attempting to bring them together to discuss the potential “pay fors” that lead to full enactment of a revenue neutral collection method, and future capital gains increases on the sale of estate assets that can be tracked by the Internal Revenue Service.
From agricultural members to the National Black Chamber of Commerce, ASSET has built a broad coalition of tax reformers looking to Congress to lead in redefining a tax that has brought only 1% of all IRS revenues for the last fifty years while causing great harm to job creators like small business and ranchers. ASSET creates a certainty that has not existed for more than ten years and a permanent solution to the estate tax dilemma.
We urge members to go for the brass ring during this opportunity for reform, while assuring that the perfect is not the enemy of the possible. The ASSET solution is not only possible, but plausible.