published Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Repealing death tax and gift tax a path to prosperity in Tennessee

Government officials have no “jobs switch” they can flip to create private-sector employment.

But that unfortunately doesn’t curtail the tendency among some in government to believe that more government action is all that’s needed to generate jobs.

Just a few more subsidies, a little more intervention in the market, a bit more “priming of the pump” will do the trick, they assume.

But it doesn’t work. In fact, one of the hardest lessons for many public officials to learn is that often government does the most to help create jobs by simply avoiding improper interventions rather than by devising some new program.

One of the best things government can do to enhance economic growth — or at least foster conditions that promote growth — is avoid excessive taxation. Wealth creation and growth flourish in a market unencumbered by undue taxes, because that leaves the private sector more money to invest in all sorts of entrepreneurial ventures.

The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a free-market think tank, demonstrated that recently when it teamed up with the Laffer Center for Supply-Side Economics to look at the potential for economic growth in the state if lawmakers would eliminate the unjust “death tax” on inheritances as well as the gift tax. (Dr. Art Laffer is a former adviser to President Ronald Reagan. Laffer now lives in Tennessee.)

The findings of the study were eye-opening, particularly as lawmakers look at rolling back those taxes.

The study found that if Tennessee had eliminated the two taxes 10 years ago:

• The state would have enjoyed 200,000 to 220,000 new jobs.

• The gross state product would have been anywhere from $6 billion to $18 billion greater.

• Tennessee’s asset base would have risen by anywhere from $16 billion to $48 billion.

• State and local government revenue — from sources such as property, sales and business taxes — actually would have risen by up to $7.3 billion, versus the less than $1 billion that the death tax and gift tax bring in.

That’s not chicken feed! It shows a real chance for economic growth.

“Our analysis proves that not only is repealing these two taxes the right thing to do morally, it is in the best economic and fiscal interest of all Tennesseans to eliminate them,” Laffer said in a news release.

Justin Owen, of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, noted: “The state death and gift taxes drive job creators, investors and taxpayers out of Tennessee. Those who actually wind up paying the taxes — family business owners and rural farmers — can ill afford it.”

Reversing counterproductive tax policies in our state would be a good step toward greater job creation and growth in general.

Comments do not represent the opinions of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, nor does it review every comment. Profanities, slurs and libelous remarks are prohibited. For more information you can view our Terms & Conditions and/or Ethics policy.

You know what Math Teachers used to say...don't just write down the answer, show your work.

Where's yours?

Where's the Beacon Center's?

March 24, 2012 at 1:06 a.m.
joneses said...

It has been proven that wealth creation and growth flourish in a market unencumbered by undue taxes, because that leaves the private sector more money to invest in all sorts of entrepreneurial ventures. So what the Democrats want to do is tax more and hamper job creation all in the name of fairness. But what they do not tell you is they are not being fair with the money they confiscate through taxes. What they do with this money is pay off their friends who put them in office and will keep them their and the people that need it end up with nothing. Is this fair? I think not. We will be better off with less government intervention than more. So the decision is if you want more government intervention in your life and have no confidence in yourself vote for a Democrat. if you have confidence in yourself and your own survival vote for a Republican because the Republican is more likely to get out of your way to let you prosper.

March 24, 2012 at 5:52 a.m.
EaTn said...

The best way to create wealth in the state is to repeal all taxes, especially the sales tax which takes a disproportionate amount of those who can least afford it. Repealing the sales take would uplift consumables up to ten percent--imagine how many jobs that would create.

March 24, 2012 at 6:58 a.m.
EaTn said...

Luke 6:24 “But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort."

March 24, 2012 at 7:32 a.m.

joneses: So let's see that proof offered.

EaTn: Or better yet, make the Laffler curve go negative, that would skyrocket revenues to infinity, wouldn't it?

March 24, 2012 at 10:20 a.m.
hambone said...

Jobs are created by demand for goods and services.

How do tax cuts create demand?

The top 1% have 90% of the wealth. How much more wealth will they need to create jobs?

March 24, 2012 at 11:42 a.m.
please login to post a comment

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »


Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.