President Barack Obama's promise to raise the estate tax by 5 percent to 55 percent should he be re-elected in November is “not just wrong, it’s criminal,” legendary singer Pat Boone told Newsmax.TV.
"People that have worked hard, people who have saved, paid their taxes, set something away and now want to leave it to their family — if they have the bad judgment to die, the government will step over and say: ‘Thank you. We will take 55 percent of that,’ ” Boone told Newsmax in an exclusive interview on Friday.
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"And if you have to sell your business, have to sell your house, have to borrow the money, you have to pay the government 55 percent of whatever was left — I think that’s just robbery. It’s not just wrong, it's criminal. It ought to be abolished, and it must be abolished."
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Boone is a spokesman for the 60 Plus Association, the nation’s leading conservative seniors organization. It was founded 19 years ago as a counterpart to AARP and now has 7 million members. The group's chairman is Jim Martin.
On Friday, the association launched its “60 Plus Healthcare Freedom Bus Tour,” in Florida with Boone and Martin speaking about issues critical to this year’s election. The tour stops in Virginia and Ohio in the coming weeks.
“In my family, my dad used up all of his savings, and yet he was a hard-working building contractor,” Boone began. “He worked until he was 80 running his own company... and lived to be 94. Momma, 91.
“During that time, he used up all his savings. They didn’t realize they were going to live as long as they did, and they didn’t know they were going to have the physical problems that required serious surgeries.
“I was able to help him leave something to the kids and to some Christian charities that he favored,” Boone added. “But that was me. It wasn’t the government.”
Martin said the 60 Plus Association has been working to get the estate tax — what it now calls the “death tax” — abolished.
“The brave Ronald Reagan mentioned ‘the death tax’ a couple of time in the 1980s,” Martin said. “The 60 Plus Association started hammering away on a daily basis, and we took the issue from one goal line to the other and over the last 20 years.”
“Small entrepreneurs, farmers … throughout Florida, throughout the nation, small businessmen, don’t have the financial capitol lying around to spend on lawyers and accountants. It’s that simple.
“That’s why we started calling it ‘the death tax,’ because after all if you’re paying 50 percent while you’re alive, then of what you have left, you’re paying as much as 55 percent — if the first claimant in line is Uncle Sam, not even a blood relative, we think that’s morally wrong if nothing else.”
The bus tour seeks to counter the AARP’s support of the Obama health care legislation, Martin said. He referenced a recent GOP report concluding that the powerful lobby could make more than a billion dollars over 10 years from the sale of supplemental Medicare policies under Obamacare.
The report, from Reps. Wally Herger, R-Calif., and Dave Reichert, R-Wash., alleges the Affordable Care Act will result in great demand for the Medigap policies that are endorsed by AARP. The lobby’s officials have denied the report’s allegations.
“Just recently, a bunch of emails were discovered from the AARP to the White House,” Martin said. “In those official emails from the American Association of Retired Persons, they said to them, ‘We’ve got to change our messaging.’ Why? Because their mail was running 14-to-l against this bill. Fourteen to one. That’s devastating numbers.
“The ugly truth has come out that the AARP was working hand-in-glove with President Obama on this bill,” he said. “We’ve been saying all along they should’ve been listening, well, we now modify that. They were listening. They just weren’t paying attention to what seniors were telling them. And that’s going to come back to haunt them in November.”
Martin said it is in Democrats’ DNA to scare seniors into believing Republicans will take away their social security and Medicaid. “We’re out there on the battle line — the 60 Plus Association — to bring the truth," he said.
He predicted “a senior-citizen tsunami” at the polls in November, similar to 2010, when many Democrats who supported Obamacare were voted out.
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“The Congress flipped over to the Republicans,” Martin said. “Now, in the Senate in 2012, we’re pointing out and predicting that same senior-citizen tsunami is still offshore. It’s going to come ashore again.”
He said the Democrats who might have to “update their resumes” include Fla. Sen. Bill Nelson, Montana Sen. Jon Tester; Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Michigan’s Sen. Debbie Stabenow, and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio.
“Those five Democrats voted for this bill,” Martin said. “Now, they’re backing away from it.”
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