Hooray! Estate tax cuts are back!

Hopefully, you picked up the sarcasm there.  The House finally figured out a way to try and get the estate tax cut for the ultra-wealthy– pair it with legislation to raise the minimum wage.  You gotta love it:  a couple bucks an hour for poor working folks offset by billions in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.  And, at a cost to the federal treasury of $268 billion.  And who ends up on the hook for those extra billions?  My kids.  This is so not right.  Some good quotations from the Washington Post story:

“This is beyond cynical. This is disgraceful,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.).

Minority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) signaled he would try to scuttle
the tax bill next week. “Republicans have made perfectly clear who they
stand with and who they are willing to fight for: the privileged few,”
he said.

To sweeten the deal for balking Democrats, especially in the Senate,
GOP leaders larded the tax bill with special-interest breaks. Over the
strenuous objections of Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Mike Enzi
(R-Wyo.), they stripped a package of popular business tax extensions
from the pension bill and added them to the estate tax cut.

Against the wishes of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg
(R-N.H.), they included a measure that would shift costs of health care
and environmental reclamation from coal companies to the federal
government at a cost of nearly $4 billion over the next decade. Another
measure, aimed at Washington state's two Democratic senators, would
give timber companies a tax break worth $428 million over five years.

In total, the tax package would cost the Treasury nearly $310 billion through 2016.

Republican “family values” in action.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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