ATR today sent the following letter (pdf) to Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), who has introduced a bill to fully-repeal the death tax.

Congratulations on your introduction of H.R. 3463, the “Death Tax Repeal Permanency Act of 2009.”  All Congressmen should support this common-sense legislation which prevents a job-killing tax hike.

Under current law, the death tax will proceed from a 45 percent top rate in 2009, to fully-repealed in 2010, and then up to a 55 percent top rate in 2011.  Needless to say, this is crazy.

Congress has already expressed its will, back in 2001, when bipartisan majorities in each chamber voted to fully-repeal the death tax.  Because of arcane Senate budget rules, this repeal was only effective for one year—2010.  After that, the pre-2001 law re-asserts itself (55 percent top rate, $1 million exemption).

The death tax is consistently the least popular federal tax in public opinion polling.  Between two-thirds and three-quarters of all Americans support killing the death tax.  This is despite the fact that few Americans pay it (though millions feel its sting when family farms need to be sold, businesses liquidated, and employees laid off to pay the death tax).

Put simply, this class-envy and bad-economics tax needs to be put to rest.