• A concurrent resolution signed by 73 members of the House of Representatives expresses the "sense of Congress" that the estate tax exemption should not be lowered to $200,000. President Clinton suggested during the recent presidential campaign that he might propose legislation lowering the federal estate tax exemption from the current $600,000 to $200,000, as a way to reduce the national debt and balance the budget. This proposal has generated a firestorm of opposition, since it adversely affect millions of middle-class American families. The recent congressional resolution (introduced on January 20, 1993) responds to this proposal as follows:
Whereas the average savings rate in the United States (2.9 percent of income) is lower than that of any other industrialized country; whereas government taxation of estates, which is the accumulation of assets throughout one's lifetime, discourages individuals and families from saving and investing; whereas estates often include the small businesses and farms of middle- and low-income Americans; whereas small businesses and farms have historically created most of the net new jobs in this country and fueled the growth of the economy generally; whereas recently proposed legislation would decrease the threshold for estate tax exemption to $200,000; whereas decreasing such threshold would raise effective estate tax rates to a level so high that the heirs of homeowners, farmers and small business owners with assets over $200,000 could be forced to liquidate their assets to pay the taxes incurred by the proposed change in the tax law; and whereas liquidation of productive assets to finance tax liabilities would destroy jobs and further harm the fragile economy: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), That the Congress opposes any attempt to lower the estate tax exemption or raise the effective rate of taxes on estates because such measures contradict the fundamental goal of the United States Government of encouraging long-term private saving through which productive investment that promotes economic growth can be realized.
Persons wishing to contact their Representative or Senators to encourage support of this resolution should refer to House Concurrent Resolution 6.