FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (October 11, 2010) –The federal inheritance tax—which could soon snatch up more than half the assets of a deceased person—threatens American families and could yield a devastating blow to entire communities. Dr. Del Tackett and veteran broadcaster John Rabe discuss the burdensome tax on this week’s broadcast of Cross Examine, a biblical worldview television program from Coral Ridge Ministries. To watch the program or find TV station listings, click here.
Tackett and Rabe, co-hosts of Cross Examine, point out on the program that the inheritance or estate tax is not solely a political issue, but a biblical and ethical one.
“Scripture uses the word inheritance over 200 times,” said Tackett, known for his role as author and teacher of the Truth Project. “And when the Scripture does, it primarily is using the word inheritance in a very positive light, almost as if there’s something sacred about the inheritance. Furthermore, in Proverbs 13, it says that ‘a good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.’”
But Congress may soon let the inheritance tax jump back to 55 percent, which will crush the ability of families to pass on their wealth to the next generation. It permits the federal government to scoop up 55 percent of the value of a deceased person’s assets over $1 million.
For a real world example of the impact this could have on families and entire communities, Tackett visited with the Sukup family in Sheffield, a small town in Franklin County, Iowa. The Sukups own and run a manufacturing plant in the town of about 1,000 people. The operation is a big employer, providing jobs for many residents in the farming community. It is also the county’s largest employer.
“Each and every family that works out at Sukup’s, the Sukups puts dinner on their table everyday, and it’s their kindness and their business ethics that’s kept this community going for a long time,” states one Sheffield resident.
But Eugene Sukup, the entrepreneur who started the manufacturing business, is 81 years old. Health problems have caused him to be more vigilant in exposing the devastating impact the estate tax would have on his family and business. Sukup told a Senate Congressional Committee in Washington that the tax is “the greatest threat” to his business.
“Let’s suppose that you are one of these employees that the Sukup family has working for them, and you’re feeding your family based upon that,” Tackett explains. “If the estate tax then comes in and the [Sukup] sons have to sell this business in order to pay a very huge bill, then the business could go away, it could be sold off to a conglomerate somewhere else and closed, or they have to sell the parts and pieces to raise the money” to pay the federal tax.
Tackett said the estate tax comes from two notions: The first, that “the state can pretty much take whatever it wants as long as it’s somebody else’s; and the second, that the rich are the bad guys—that somehow if they have [wealth], it’s because they’ve taken from us.”
Cross Examine episodes, which look at issues in everyday life from a biblical perspective, may be viewed online at www.crossexamine.com. The website also provides a listing of TV outlets airing the program and features bonus biblical worldview teaching from co-host Del Tackett.
Labels: estate taxes