Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Ending the uncertainty over extending Bush-era tax cuts may rest on resolving a decade-long debate over death and taxes. ...
With Obama planning to meet with bipartisan congressional leaders at the White House tomorrow, three main factions have formed in the Senate, none of which has the 60 votes needed to advance an estate-tax proposal. One includes Republicans such as South Carolina’s Jim DeMint who favor permanent repeal. Another is led by Democrats including Majority Leader Harry Reid who support a top rate of 45% that would apply after a $3.5 million tax-free allowance. A third faction, led by Arizona Republican Jon Kyl and Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln and embraced by Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, backs setting the top rate at 35% after a $5 million exemption. Forging an agreement has proven more complicated than splitting the difference on the numbers because this has been cast as a moral issue.