Posted by Curt on 9 December, 2010 at 6:37 pm. 57 comments already!



The frustration with President Barack Obama over his tax cut compromise was palpable and even profane at Thursday’s House Democratic Caucus meeting.
One unidentified lawmaker went so far as to mutter “f— the president” while Rep. Shelley Berkley was defending the package the president negotiated with Republicans. Berkley confirmed the incident, although she declined to name the specific lawmaker.


Rep. Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.) was also overheard saying that “we can’t trust him” not to cave to Republicans and extend the tax cuts again in two years, according to a Democratic source.

The anger aimed at the bill was widespread. As Democrats moved to block the bill from coming up on the floor, chants of “Just say no!” could be heard by reporters outside the room.

But I ain’t buying the faux outrage. This is all theater so that the class warfare nutjobs can go back to their nutjob constituents and say that they were against it.

What really has their panties in a bunch?

The change Democratic critics most want to make involves the tax treatment of inheritances. The federal tax on estates expired at the end of 2009 and is set to be reinstated from 2011 at a rate of 55% charged on estates over $1 million.

The new tax package would renew the tax at a rate of 35% on estates over $5 million. House Democrats want a higher tax rate, applied to additional estates.

What a great example of the Democrats desire for government control. Your money, already taxed, should be taxed some more because you died. In their wormy minds that money belongs to the government anyways. They were just letting you keep it for a little while. As Hugh Hewitt wrote, Republicans spent years working to get that “vampire” tax off the books and now it’s back:

“The deal” revives the death tax, an immoral “vampire tax” that sucks the blood from the dead, ruins family businesses and double taxes savings that were accumulated over a lifetime. It took ten years of gradual step downs to eliminate the tax, and now “the deal” revives it at 35% with a $5 million dollar exemption, a rate that looks and feels permanent and which will immediately impact tens of thousands of families in 2011 and when inflation works its way into the system, thousands more over time. The GOP has spent years making the case against the death tax on moral and economic grounds, and in the course of a weekend of secret meetings, it gave that issue away.

A great example here of what the Democrats want: (h/t Protein Wisdom)

Here’s an example. Say you inherited your mother’s home this year. She bought it for $200,000 and today it’s worth $4 million. If you had inherited it last year, you would’ve had to pay estate taxes on half a million (the value of the house, minus the estate-tax exclusion). But since you inherited it this year, you pay no estate tax and instead get taxed on a whopping $2.5 million gain (the $3.8 million gain on the house, minus your $1.3 million exclusion). The irony, of course, is that some people who never would’ve owed estate taxes now might take a capital-gains hit. See why you don’t want to kill off mom this year?

Hugh Hewitt also makes a great point, and why we should feel betrayed by the Republicans making this deal with the devil:

On September 23, all of the House GOP leadership agreed to the “Pledge to America .” A photo op was arranged at the Tart Lumber store in Sterling, Virginia, and the senior leaders of the would-be majority, with their shirt sleeves rolled up, took the pledge and asked America for the majority back. There are at least five provisions of the Pledge that are breached by “the deal.” In September the House GOP promised to:

“Permanently Stop All Job-Killing Tax Hikes” (p. 16)

“Act immediately to Reduce Spending” (p. 21)

“Cut Government Spending to Pre-Stimulus, Pre-Bailout Levels” (p. 21)

“Read the Bill” (p. 33)

“Advance Legislative Issues One at a Time” (p. 33)

“The deal’s” assault on “The Pledge” will make the latter a joke, and instantly impacts the credibility of all future efforts to propose agendas to the electorate.

This is just a bad bad deal and those up for re-election should take heed. If you vote for this deal you’re voting to resurrect the death tax.

Ten Republican senators are up for re-election in 2012: John Barrasso of Wyoming, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Bob Corker of Tennessee, John Ensign of Nevada, Orrin Hatch of Utah, Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, Jon Kyl of Arizona, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Roger Wicker of Mississippi.

Of these 10, Senators Kyl and Wicker are safe bets for re-election, but the other eight cannot afford to begin their campaigns for re-election with a vote for this compromise. On the House side the damage will be even deeper. Every narrow victor begins their first day in office with this “deal” on their backs.

Added note: here is Rush Limbaugh’s take on the tax cut deal…and it ain’t pretty:

Obama has not had a come-to-Jesus meeting or event here. He has not changed who he is. There’s something else going on. Now all of a sudden this enthusiasm to extend the Bush tax cuts. And I think I’ve got this figured out. The key here is that there is nothing stimulative about them, and yet Obama is portraying them as stimulative. Why? ‘Cause he knows it’s gonna fail to stimulate. This is not a tax cut. And even if it were, two years is not enough for a tax cut to really indicate economic growth. It took four years for Reagan’s to kick in, three to four years. We’re looking here at just continuing tax rates. If there’s any tax stimulus here — and you tell me how big of one it is — it’s the 2% cut in the payroll tax for one year. At the end of the day that’s not stimulus, either.

Now, we were talking yesterday that the worst thing that could happen for Obama is if this worked. But maybe not. If it works, what does he get to say? He gets to say he crossed the aisle, he put the country first, he put aside things, he worked with the Republicans, and it’s working out, and he happens to be running for reelection. If it doesn’t work, in other words, if there is no economic stimulus tied to the extension of these tax rates, he can say, “You know, I went against my better judgment. I knew this wouldn’t work, but I thought for the sake of working with the other side to give it a try. Tax cuts don’t work, supply-side doesn’t work. I proved it in two years here. Supply-side doesn’t work.” Well, he’s taking positions on both sides so that he can say that he wins no matter what happens.


This is all about how the table’s been set. How can it be said that the current tax rates that have been in place for ten years are gonna be a stimulus in the next two? It doesn’t make sense logically. The way the table’s been set people think they’re tax cuts. Why? Because they were gonna go up, they were gonna expire. It’s kind of like baseline budgeting.

Let me give you a better example. You go in to buy a car. You tell yourself when you go to the dealership that you’re not gonna spend anything more than $50,000 on your car. You go in there and you see a car you fall in love with for $75,000. But you don’t buy it. You buy the one for 50, and you tell your wife you just saved 25 grand. Even though you never intended to spend 75, you tell her you just saved 25 grand. Well, this tax business table has been set the same way. For whatever length of time the threat has been that these rates will expire, and everybody’s will go up. Now, that would happen if nothing was done on January 31st. But nobody’s taxes are going down. Nobody’s income taxes are going down, and nobody has ever contemplated anybody’s income taxes going down. And it is marginal income tax rates that are stimulative, lowering them, but they aren’t going to be lowered. Yet the table has been set to say tax increases are coming, but now since there aren’t tax increases coming, we’re being told tax cuts are coming, and then those tax cuts, which are not really tax cuts, and therefore will not stimulate the economy, two years from now, Obama will say, “Well, in the spirit of cooperation, I’m doing what I thought best. I wanted to try the Republicans’ idea, but it just hasn’t worked.”

This way they don’t have to do revisionist history of the Reagan years to say supply-side or whatever doesn’t work. They just have to tell the American people who have lived through these next two years, “They said tax cuts would stimulate the economy, and we clearly see that they haven’t.” And then, of course, the Republicans, conservatives have to point out two years from now, “Well, there weren’t any tax cuts.” And then you’re into a situation where you have to convince voters after the fact what went on instead of saying what I’m saying to them now, before this happens. The reason economists are saying that a payroll tax cut would be stimulative is because for one year it is gonna result in people’s paychecks being larger. But it’s not a perpetual stimulus because after one year the tax rate goes back up. By the same token, two years of the same tax rates, if they haven’t been a stimulus up till now why are they all of a sudden gonna become a stimulus? The fact is, not raising them is the thing that needs to be pointed out.


Now, do you believe that all of a sudden a lifetime of belief has just been thrown down the sewer and Obama all of a sudden has now become a true believer, a supply-sider? “Every economist that I’ve talked to or that I’ve read over the last couple of days acknowledges that this agreement would boost economic growth in the coming years”? Folks, if he really believes that, this is time for the Republicans to make this a tax cut! This is time for them to propose an actual marginal income tax rate cut. Put him on the spot. He does not believe this — and furthermore he’s got a ton of economists, Democrat economists, who don’t believe this.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, this deal is not a good thing. The Republican leadership buckled under instead of allowing the new Republican Congress to pass a permanent tax cut. Then it would of been up to the Senate Democrats to block the bill as the country clamors for relief from the increased taxes. A little over a month after the election and current Republicans are giving away the farm.

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