Friday, June 16, 2006

Dear Mr. Felknor,

My name is Paxton Ramsey. I am a fourth generation rancher in south east Texas, a close neighbor to many in your organization, and I am very concerned about your Senator Landrieu having Louisiana ranchers and ranchers as a whole as ANY kind of priority.

32 years ago, my grandfather passed away. It cost my Grandmother $1,000,000 to pay the death tax. In the past 5 years, My family has spent over $395,000 to just prepare our finances for an even larger ($2.75 million) hit when my 91 year old Grandmother passes away. You know as well as I do that ranchers do not have that kind of disposable income. In Washington D.C., ranchers are being compared to the Bill Gates of the world. How uneducated can one be. Our ranch barely supports the three households it takes to run it. I will have to sell a large portion of My Great Grandfather’s land of 102 years, out from under my children and my sister’s children in order to pay this tax. People like Senator Landrieu do not seem to realize that most land, sold under these conditions, is developed for purposes other than agriculture. There is no more real estate being made and we are going to continue to lose ground, suitable for raising the SAFEST and BEST QUALITY beef in the world.

I was in Washington D.C., on the Young Cattlemen’s Conference, through the NCBA, when the Death tax was voted on last week. I sat on the floor and PERSONALLY watched your Senator pace back and forth, counting votes, waiting until the end to cast her own, based on the votes of other Senators. It made me sick to think that people such as this have any kind of control of my children’s future. My feelings are this. You either know what you believe in or you don’t! Your Senator barely won her election and then took an oath to FIGHT for the people of your state. Your Senator has obviously sold her soul to politics and it is effecting us all. The people of south east Texas and Louisiana have suffered enough through last year’s Hurricane season. A death under today’s laws would be a double shot to the heart for many. Please help us to not only preserve our heritage but also to keep the land , necessary to continue to raise beef for a global market in this demand driven industry.

I am sorry to dump this on you this morning but I feel we owe it to our children to make this fight. I hope all else is going well for you and if there is ever anything your neighbors can do to help you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or anyone through Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. I appreciate your time on this matter and I look forward to meeting you soon.
Paxton Ramsey

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