about us


get involved

media center

death tax tales

economic analyses

additional resources

Dick Patten
Executive Director

Carrie Simms
Assistant E.D.

Josh Kahn
Director of Communications

Howard Segermark
Senior Consultant


American Family
Business Institute
1920 L Street, NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 969-2444
(202) 969-2445 fax



Letter to Senator Sessions from Band of Brothers' Heroes

May 8, 2005
Dear Senator Sessions:

In the winter of 1944 we found ourselves outnumbered and out-gunned by the German Army...some say 15-to-1. We were fighting in the dead of winter in summer issue fatigues, with little ammunition and few supplies. We lost friends and endured intense hardships, but we were sustained by the knowledge that we knew we were providing America with a bright spot of hope...that our Band of Brothers was a bastion of American grit and determination holding fast against the tide in the “Bulge.” As you know, we held out and Europe was freed was freed from tyranny sixty years ago today.

We are now engaged in a battle to bring balance and basic common sense to our tax policy. Those of us who fought in the military did so in part to defend the freedom to enjoy the fruits of our honest labor and to pass that down as a legacy to our children and grandchildren.

It is our view...and one shared by millions of others – that once Americans have paid their taxes, they should be free to spend our earnings, or pass them on to our children and grandchildren. But the one thing we are not permitted to do is pass on a heritage to our family without additional taxation.

We feel it is unprincipled and overreaching for death to be a taxable event. Any tax system which confiscates the same earnings twice and then burdens a grieving family with a huge tax bill is both immoral and improper. In supporting the elimination of the death tax you are encouraging stronger families and the passing on of a heritage for future generations. Those of us who believe in this country and its fundamental values, salute you.

The “Merry Christmas” Airborne message contained in this framing reminds us of a time long past. Yet, in the battles you may encounter, it still has relevance. Some days you may feel surrounded, outnumbered, and nearly out of ammo – but take courage, Jeff. Rally the troops and inspire our hearts with a message about the heritage we treasure. Move forward with steely determination. Move forward as an American leader - forward on behalf of many who may no longer be able to join the battle.

In grateful recognition of your steadfast leadership in allowing us to pass on our meager wealth to the natural objects of our bounty, we present you with this token of our esteem and appreciation.

Tech. Sgt., “Easy” Company

1st Lt., “Easy” Company

506th Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne
Two of the “Band of Brothers”

© 2006 American Family Business Institute