News · Press Release

He lost his dad, but Rep. Holding wishes he’d gotten more money

Republican Congressman George Holding (NC-02) revealed that when his father died, he wishes he had inherited more money from his banking family, spilling the beans — that lost opportunity is his motivation to repeal the estate tax.

In Congressman George Holding’s own words:

When asked about the perception that the bill helps wealthy families like his own, Holding didn’t dispute it.

“Hey, it benefits everybody,” he said. “I sure do wish we had the elimination of the inheritance tax when my father died back when I was 10 years old and he was 54 years old and he was chairman of a bank. A great deal of the wealth that he had accumulated went to the federal government. So I feel like I’m a day late and a dollar short achieving that.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Holding ‘thrilled’ to work on tax bill, says estate tax repeal comes too late for him | News & Observer
BY BRIAN MURPHY

Rep. George Holding used his finger to punctuate his points, jabbing at a table that sits just outside the U.S. House of Representatives. Holding, a former tax attorney and federal prosecutor now in his third term in Congress, has found his animating issue: tax reform.

[…]

“We’re losing the aspirational nature of the United States. The aspirational nature, I would argue, is one of the key ingredients in the secret sauce of American greatness,” Holding said. “If we can be successful in tax reform and get this economy rolling again and having growth, people are going to change their mind. ‘Hey, the next generation is going to have it better off. My kids are going to have it better off.’ They’re going to be aspirational again. That’s the key to American greatness.”

[…]

Where Holding sees a pathway toward renewed optimism and increased economic growth in the Republican plan to lower rates on personal income and corporations, Democrats and critics see a giveaway to wealthy Americans at the expense of middle-class tax credits — including deductions for student loan interest, state and local taxes, medical expenses, dependent care and many others.

“We need tax reform that will help middle class families, but Congressman Holding and Washington Republicans want to hand out tax cuts to the wealthiest, while working North Carolina families foot the bill,” said Sam Searcy, a 2018 Democratic candidate for Holding’s seat.

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Republicans, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, have touted figures showing that a family of four making $59,000 would see a tax cut of $1,182, a statement PolitiFact rated as Half True, reporting that amount is accurate for the first year only. According to The New York Times, one-third of middle-class families would pay more taxes in 2018 and almost half would pay more taxes in 2026 under the GOP proposal compared to current tax law.

Holding’s family owns controlling interest in Raleigh-based First Citizens Bank and has run the bank for three generations. That family wealth has made him an easy target for Democratic critics – especially after Holding said he would prefer to eliminate even more deductions to lower tax rates further.

“Banking heir turned Congressman George Holding isn’t satisfied with just throwing out some of the tax deductions middle class families use to help make ends meet and pay for medical care,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Cole Leiter. “If he had it his way, he’d ‘get rid of all of them.’ Why? So he can pay for a giant handout to corporations and the richest Americans, like the banking family he was born into.”

Holding’s net worth is estimated to be at $4.85 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, making him one of the 50 richest members of Congress. That figure includes more than $3 million in First Citizens shares. The Democratic campaign committee, which has targeted Holding’s seat in 2018, labeled him “Scrooge McDuck,” after the rich Disney character who swims in a vault of his own gold coins.

[…]

When asked about the perception that the bill helps wealthy families like his own, Holding didn’t dispute it.

“Hey, it benefits everybody,” he said. “I sure do wish we had the elimination of the inheritance tax when my father died back when I was 10 years old and he was 54 years old and he was chairman of a bank. A great deal of the wealth that he had accumulated went to the federal government. So I feel like I’m a day late and a dollar short achieving that.”

[…]

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