The Washington Post reports:

The House approved Thursday a measure making the current estate tax rate permanent, overcoming the objections of an unusual coalition of liberal and conservative critics.

The bill passed, 225 to 200, with 26 Democrats joining all Republicans present to vote no. It would make permanent the current estate tax rate of 45 percent, with an exemption of $3.5 million per individual. If Congress does not act, the estate tax would disappear altogether in 2010, then return in 2011 under the higher rates — 55 percent and a $1 million exemption — that existed before President George W. Bush took office.

We understand that the leftist majority in the House harbors a long and deeply held desire to redistribute wealth in the country. But as we have explained before, the Death Tax is a killer for family-owned businesses and their workers:

A recent study found that a full repeal of the death tax would create 1.5 million jobs. This is half the number of jobs President Obama claimed the $800 billion stimulus package would create–at one-fifth the price.

Additional benefits from full repeal of the estate tax include:

* Increasing small business capital by over $1.6 trillion;
* Increasing the probability of hiring by 8.6 percent;
* Increasing payrolls by 2.6 percent;
* Expanding investment by 3 percent; and
* Slashing the current jobless rate by 0.9 percent.

The unemployment rate is already 10.2%. How high must the unemployment rate go before the left abandons their redistributionist fetish and allows for some pro-growth economic policy?