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Honoring Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (1921-2006)

By: Scott Hodge

As a long-time friend of the TaxA tax is a mandatory payment or charge collected by local, state, and national governments from individuals or businesses to cover the costs of general government services, goods, and activities. Foundation, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Texas) will be missed. Bentsen died at his home in Houston, Texas on Tuesday.

During his half-century career in public service, Bentsen served as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. Throughout his career he was a tireless advocate for pro-growth taxing and spending policies, and maintained a reputation for bipartisanship, collegiality, and staunch fiscal conservatism.

For his work in promoting sound tax policy, the Tax Foundation awarded Sen. Bentsen our prestigious Distinguished Service Award for the Public Sector in 1989. In his acceptance speech, Sen. Bentsen called for steep reductions in capital gains taxA capital gains tax is levied on the profit made from selling an asset and is often in addition to corporate income taxes, frequently resulting in double taxation. Capital gains taxes create a bias against saving, leading to a lower level of national income by encouraging present consumption over investment. es to help boost U.S. investment and economic growth—remarks that resulted in a prominent Wall Street Journal story the following day.

You can read Sen. Bentsen’s full remarks delivered at the Tax Foundation’s 41st National Conference and Annual Dinner at You can also view a full list of past recipients of our Distinguished Service Award at