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December 17, 2010

Tax Compromise Passes House; More Democrats Vote To Extend Bush Tax Cuts Than Republicans

"Progress!," says Hot Air. Who knew the Bush Tax Cuts were so absurdly popular among liberals?

Voting Yes: Dennis Kucinich.

The estate tax amendment offered by liberals, which would have ratcheted up the tax to 2009 levels:

Pomeroy's amendment would have adjusted the estate tax to exempt the first $3.5 million ($7 million for couples) of an estate and tax any amount above that at 45 percent – the same levels of the estate tax in effect in 2009.

IIRC the version that passed is $5 million exempt, 35% after that. Some people may say this isn't a victory on this score, but I think it is: even though the estate tax lapsed in 2010, it was nevertheless scheduled to return in 2011, and had some unintended consequences to boot. I've seen the one-year lapse called a "demonstration" -- it wasn't a permanently-enacted thing. Zero percent still may be the goal for some (though I still don't understand why this is such a high priority among conservatives) but the version that just passed the House does represent a reduction in rates (excluding 2010's lapse in taxation).

Then and Now: The Bush Tax Cuts passed with only 230 votes in a Republican-dominated Congress. Now, in a Democratic-dominated one, it passes with 277 votes.

And 36 Republicans voted against the bill this time as being not tax-cutty enough!

That's winning a political argument to the point where I don't even know if the argument even remains anything but moot.

Monty says that he has a man-crush on Paul Ryan over this clip. Basic point: This isn't Washington's money, it's the people's money.

Not Pleased At All? Charles Krauthammer. He continues arguing that Obama won this round, due mostly I think to the subsidies in the tax bill for ethanol and such.

But he also seems to be making, without explicitly making, the argument that austerity is unpopular and painful and that the GOP could have put Obama in a worse political position by forcing austerity. As in, no extension of the tax cuts.

That seems to put partisans interest ahead of general weal, which is why I guess he only intimates that, below the surface.

As I said before in response to Krauthammer's argument: Republicans still have to do the right thing for the country even if it has the coincidental but inevitable side effect of helping Barack Obama.

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posted by Ace at 11:23 AM

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