Fiscal cliff deal reached – here are the details…

Depending who you talk to, the fiscal cliff deal reached between President Obama is either a wise deal by the Dems, or a sell-out.  I’m still digesting it,  but am happy to share a diversity of views.

The Gist of the Fiscal Cliff Deal

First the deal.  Jennifer Bendery at the Huffington Post has a good summary, that matches what I’ve been told privately:

Under the deal brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Congress would extend the Bush income tax cuts below the $450,000 threshold, keep the estate tax threshold at $5 million and extend unemployment benefits. It would also temporarily delay the sequester — i.e., billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts — for another two months.

handshake deal

Deal via Shutterstock

The deal still requires buy-in from members of both parties, and Biden was set to meet with Senate Democrats Monday night to try to sell them on the package. That could prove challenging given that key progressive groups, including the AFL-CIO, made it clear earlier Monday that they would oppose any deal that raised the income limit for extending the Bush tax cuts above $250,000.

Defense Cuts, Baby

It’s also being reported that delaying the sequester another two months will be paid for by 50% spending cuts, and 50% revenue.  The spending cuts will be 50% defense, 50% non-defense.  That means 50% of the sequester savings are coming from tax increases, which would seem to be a pretty big concession by the Republicans, and a pretty big precedent for the future.  Also a pretty big concession by the GOP, that spending cuts have to come half from defense.  Regardless of the merits of the rest of the deal, those two – getting Republicans to give up their decades-long pledge not to raise taxes and not to cut defense, seems like a big deal.

I’m going to be expanding on this post momentarily, but wanted to get this up asap.

$600bn in New Revenue from Phasing Out Bush Tax Cuts for Wealthy

The Washington Post has a great summary, but the article isn’t time-stamped so it’s not clear how fresh their information is – though there is a reference to 9pm Eastern already having happened, so the article is from the last 90 minutes. One key point:

All told, the proposal would raise roughly $600 billion in new revenue over the next decade from the wealthiest 2 percent of households — less than Obama had been seeking, and less than House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had offered in negotiations earlier this month. But the new tax revenue was a first step, Democrats said, toward asking the wealthy to do their part in reducing record budget deficits.

Payroll Tax Cut NOT Extended – Everyone’s Taxes to go Up

What the deal did NOT do is extend the payroll tax cut – basically the money we pay into Social Security via our paychecks.  That bill is back, and it will cost taxpayers (then again, how else are we supposed to fund Social Security?).  From Buzzfeed’s Zeke Miller via Twitter:

Even with the fiscal cliff deal, Americans earning $50k/yr will pay $1,000 more in taxes in 2013 b/c of expiration of payroll tax cut.

Greg Sargent is arguing that there’s an argument to be made that the deal is looking pretty good.

The PCCC is not pleased.

Personally, I’m not very phased by the difference between $250,000 a year and $400,000 a year – that’s still far below what the filthy rich folks who drive us crazy make.  And in any case, we got the Republicans to agree to raise taxes – that’s appears huge.

And I’ve personally never understood the estate tax.  I don’t care how rich you are, it rubs me the wrong way that in this country parents should be taxed on the family money they pass down to their children.  But I’m open to hearing a good argument in favor of it.

Did This Just Short-Circuit GOP’s Ongoing Hostage Strategy?

One thing that’s interesting, and I think it’s a point that Zeke Miller was trying to make to me on Twitter, is that while, sure, we have to revisit all of this in two months at the next fiscal cliff – and at that time we’ll also be dealing with the debt ceiling, we’ve already established the precedent that any domestic spending cuts are going to be met with equal defense cuts, and with twice are large of tax increases.  I’m surprised the Republicans are slowing such a deal now, but they would appear suicidal to wish to revisit all of this again in two month – do the Republicans really want to vote multiple times on raising taxes and cutting the defense budget?  Doubtful.

So, it’s possible that this deal just short-circuited the entire GOP strategy for constantly holding the entire country hostage for endless tax cuts and spending cuts.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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68 Responses to “Fiscal cliff deal reached – here are the details…”

  1. Jake says:

    How is it bizzare? The rich don’t care about gay marriage or abortion like the right wing knuckle draggers. What have Republians done to end abortion?? The rich vote Republican because Republicans shower the wealthy with gifts and concessions, which is basically stealing from the American People.

    If only the poor and middle class Republicans could smarten up and realize they are being fleeced by Republicans, we could turn this country around and end our march toward full fledged plutocracy.

  2. Moderator3 says:

    It appears you are still having avatar problems. You may have to contact DISQUS here:

  3. karmanot says:

    Not loading avatar or allowing change

  4. karmanot says:

    Hopefully they will cut off their tea bags

  5. Charon says:

    This has nothing to do with people getting wealth illegally. There are people with billions who legally earned all of it. Bully for them. But this is about whether their children should have all their money + appreciation, and thus likely be wealthier than their parents despite not doing anything for it. This leads to a more intense plutocracy than we have now, and one in which most of the wealthy people did nothing to earn the money. The alternative we came up with was the estate tax, which leaves the children of rich parents very well off, but not _quite_ as well off as their parents. (The maximum tax rate is 35% – paying that on an inheritance of $10 billion will still leave you incredibly rich.)

    I don’t understand how you can support gift taxes, or for that matter income taxes, and not support the estate tax. We tax all wealth transfers in this country (with varying exclusions and rates). What’s so special about the estate tax for you?

  6. Charon says:

    We privilege marriage and minor children relationships in many ways. You of all people should know this (this is part of the reason we’re fighting for gays to be allowed to marry).

    What I asked was has anyone proposed making the estate tax 100%? You could ask S1AMER if that’s what they believe, but that’s not what they said in this comment. It’s what you read into it.

  7. Sweetie says:

    “I am pretty sure that Obama’s real aim has been to cut the ‘defense’ budget…”

  8. Sweetie says:

    Obama is a Republican. He admitted that already.

  9. Moderator3 says:

    What is it doing?

  10. Well if we want to go there, his wife didn’t earn his income. Neither did his children who are under 18 and living in his home under his care. Why not tax his wife and kids for enjoying the benefits of his income? They didn’t earn it. (And in other comments, yes indeed, someone argued that we need the estate tax in order to stop the production of more Paris Hiltons, So, not a caricature, quoting a regular commenter.)

  11. Yeah just noticed that myself.

  12. karmanot says:


  13. karmanot says:

    Disqus is acting up

  14. Loona_c says:

    And many who are over 50.

  15. Charon says:

    “but he earned it”

    Just like those kids who were born to rich parents :)

    The government taking away SOME of the wealth of the rich (earned or not) and using it to help everyone is the whole basis of a progressive income tax system. It’s the basis of every industrial nation in the world. It’s the basis for more socialist countries whose medical systems you love (France) as well as the not-very-socialist US.

    Who the hell was arguing that the government should take away ALL of the money from rich people? No one, not even Sweden. You’re the one making this a caricature.

  16. Charon says:

    Um, that’s not how we assign ownership. We assign ownership to individuals in our society, not families. This is basic to our entire culture.

    Plus, we tax gifts. How is inheritance not a gift? And currently inheritance is taxed a lot less than gifts. Are you in favor of ending taxes on gifts? I guess if it’s “in the family” you would be?

  17. GarySFBCN says:

    Yeah, filthy stinking wealthy people, who take advantage of every tax break possible, who move their money off-shore to hide it from any legitimate taxation, who attempt to buy favorable tax laws by bribing politicians, should be able to pass their ill-begotten tax-free financial dynasties to their heirs by not paying the only tax that is easily enforceable – the estate tax. That way, those families will be permanently exempt from any taxation. Taxes, after all, are the responsibility of the little people.

  18. condew says:

    What’s worse, the rich kids get to be in charge of everything. At least the guy who accumulated the wealth demonstrated some grasp of reality, but then he leaves that wealth to some idiot sons like George W. Bush or the Koch brothers, or the Walton family. The inherited wealth gives power to people who think those who work for a living are worthless cattle.

  19. condew says:

    Boehner pushed the vote into 2013, so no, Norquist’s pledge is not dead; Dems just “forced” the Republicans to pass a tax cut.

  20. True. Though it always bugged me that we tax lottery winnings too.

  21. I agree that’s the rationale. I just feel that, at the very least, if you’re a family member of the deceased, and most certainly if you’re a close family member (kids, spouse, maybe parents), the money is already yours.

  22. I’m not okay that my cousin makes more money than me, and thus lives in a bigger home than me, but he does – I’m just jealous, but he earned it. And more power to him. There’s a difference between not liking the fact that some folks are rich and some of us aren’t, and suggesting that the government should take their wealth away. I don’t agree with the latter. And yeah, I’m not sure it’s the government’s job to say that Paris Hilton is lazy and a skank so we’re going to take all of her money away. That almost sounds like the way the conservatives caricature liberals.

  23. You’re working from the assumption that people ‘should’ pay taxes on inheritance, there’s $5m tax free is enough – I’m trying to investigate the “why” of the “should.” Also, while I may not like Koch or Trump, I’m not sure I think it’s the government’s job to break up their wealth in death. Then why not break it up in life too – what’s the difference? If people think they’re earning their money illegally, then take it now. Let the government go after the Wal-marts and just take their money back if we don’t like the fact that they don’t treat their employees well. I’m just not sure that I’m comfortable going that far.

  24. MichaelS says:

    This entire deal is a disaster. First, taxes:

    1. The Republicans have just proven they can entrench (almost) anything they want just by calling it “temporary” and then holding the country hostage when that temporary deadline expires. Everyone forgets it was the REPUBLICANS who voted for these tax cuts to go away 10 years after enactment (they were later extended in the last tax-hostage deal). Now after bankrupting the country, only the top-rich will have their taxes return to the previously-promised levels, permamently?? NO, taxes should return to old rates for *everyone* — and if we want to give some breaks because of the weak economy, then limit the increase to incomes over $100,000, not $450,000.

    2. And the payroll tax goes back up? Great, the Republicans fought tooth-and-nail to cut taxes for millionaires, but gave in on taxing the poorest of the poor working people?? And the Dems went along with this? The Social Security tax is the Republicans’ wet dream – a FLAT TAX on all incomes – and we just gave it back to them — with a bonus: it’s a REVERSE progressive tax, in that it’s flat up to the threshhold limit, after which it goes to zero! So millionaires pay a very small net % tax rate on it.

    3.$5M Estate tax??? Once again, the Repugs put it in “temporarily”, knowing they would likely never have to see it go away. And once again, we’ve reinforced their strategy. The next times the Dems EVER vote for any “temporary” Republican plan, they should be shot. All along the Dems’ plan was to cut the estate tax threshhold to $3M, up from the now-$1M figure but below the previous $5M. (To answer your question, John: the estate tax is important because a) it helps eliminate an aristocracy in the US, and b) revenues have to come from *somewhere*… so better they come from the dead than the living…)

    4. “delaying the sequester another two months will be paid for by 50% spending cuts, and 50% revenue.” Exactly *what* revenue, may I inquire?… Is this the revenue that’s already baked in the tax increases for those earning over $400,000? Then what happens to that tax increase after two months? Does it go away? Details are suspiciously vague on this point.

    5. “we’ve already established the precedent that any domestic spending cuts are going to be met with equal defense cuts, and with twice are large of tax increases.” REALLY?? No way, that’s being completely naive. Precedent and prior promises mean nothing to the Repugs. See #1 above. Also remember their sequestration promise, to cut 50% defense. They were (and still are) willing to do *anything* to rescind that half of the deal.

    ….Obama WON the election big, based on the tax proposals he put forward, and this is the deal we got? What in God’s name would it have looked like if he had just squeaked by???

  25. MyrddinWilt says:

    Most of the complaints seem to be about the leverage this leaves Obama with for the next set of negotiations.

    That might be a feature rather than a bug. I am pretty sure that Obama’s real aim has been to cut the ‘defense’ budget which is at least ten time bigger than any imaginable defense requirement. That is why they want Hagel in as Defense secretary, the idea seems to be that he would have more credibility when wielding the axe.

    At the end of the day, Congress really likes spending money which is the reason they got into the deficit in the first place. So there is going to be a lot of leverage for the administration in the sequestration round.

    Question is going to be whether Norquist’s pledge is officially declared dead after this deal.

  26. perljammer says:

    The only problem I have with ending the SSI tax holiday, is that the cap will be left in place. They could have removed the cap entirely, or created a “hole” such that deductions stop at the current level and resume at some higher level.

  27. MyrddinWilt says:

    I can only imagine that Boehner thinks he has enough votes to pass it with at least some Democrats supporting the deal.

    If not, the fall out is going to be catastrophic for the GOP.

  28. MyrddinWilt says:

    There are a couple of reasons for the estate tax. One is that it is a substitute for capital gains. I have stock position in index funds that will probably never need to be sold. So say I live another 30 years, at 5% compound growth, that would increase by over four fold (435%). If I cashed out the stock I would be liable for capital gains tax at the current rate. My heirs would pay nothing.

    But the main reason is that it breaks up the wealth of the parasite class like the Kochs or Trump and the much larger number you have never heard of as all they have ever done is to live well of money other people worked for.

    $5 million is a pretty large chunk of change to inherit tax free. That is just about enough to be able to retire comfortably and never work again. I don’t see a problem in saying that the government taxes anything above the first $5 million, really.

  29. confusion says:

    New year to all 2013.

  30. confusion says:

    Regarding estate tax…my pappy left me $5000 when he passed. I had to pay federal and state income tax on the $5000. The end.

  31. lynchie says:

    I learned a while ago not to argue facts or common sense or more importantly that thinking about the have nots will set them off. It is the age of “I want it all and you get none”. They truly have no compassion. We are run by many of the people who stayed home from Vietnam protected by their daddy’s money and now think they are superior to us all. They did the S&L debacle, Black Friday, 2008 World economy collapse, etc. etc. They won’t give up till they have it all.

  32. Houndentenor says:

    I have already accepted that I am going to have to work until I’m just not able. I’m not saving for retirement or counting on social security in order to retire. I’m just aware that I may live longer than I am physically able to work. The current idea of retirement is not a possibility for most Americans who are under 50.

  33. Houndentenor says:

    How tone deaf do you have to be to bitch about paying taxes on a $5 million inheritance in a country where the median income is about 50k? These people baffle me and I spent a decade working for them. It’s as if they live in a parallel universe.

  34. Houndentenor says:

    This is interesting because yesterday all my right wing relatives were insisting that the payroll tax was going to be extended but the House was rejecting the plan because it had NO spending cuts. I have learned not to press them too much because everything they say is a FACT and if you question them about where they heard things they get angry and defensive (because it was probably World Net Daily or Michael Savage).

  35. pigboy says:

    This really is the perfect time to contact your Senator and tell him or her to support Senator Merkley’s filibuster reform.

  36. Mark-NC says:

    I got this a bit wrong. The Adelsons are only worth about $20 Billion, so their children would ONLY inherit about $2 Billion each.

  37. Mark-NC says:

    Sorry – I got this a bit wrong. The Adelsons are ONLY worth about $20 Billion. They gave at least $83 Million to Republicans in the last election which is bizarre since they are basically social liberals. Their children would ONLY inherit about $2 Billion each.

  38. lynchie says:

    One other thing on inheritance taxes. If i earn money i pay taxes on it. If I invest it in whatever and make money on that I pay taxes. The same applies to inheritance, the first $5 million is exempt how much do you need.

  39. Mark-NC says:

    Exactly right. The children – who grew up in the most opulent setting imaginable with every possible advantage in life – will then get showered in cash for doing nothing. Long live the kings & queens. I just read the that Adelsons are worth around $83 Billion. So, if you took half of their wealth with an estate tax (wouldn’t happen anyway because of a myriad of legal shelters – see the Walton family!), then each of their 5 children would inherit around $8 Billion each. I think they’ll survive.

  40. S1AMER says:

    You don’t like estate taxes and inheritance taxes? You think it’s okay that the rich kids of this country never have to do a day’s work and get to live on easy street all their lives? Put another way, you think it’s okay that Paris HIlton is famous for being, well, rich?

  41. Ben Stewart says:

    “I don’t attention just how rich you’re, the item rubs us the wrong method that will on this
    country mothers and fathers ought to be taxed around the loved ones income that they cross as a result of their little ones. ”

    I really believe the rationale is that the mothers and fathers, who will be departed at this stage, will not be staying taxed, however people who inherit the bucks, which in no way elevated the finger to help generate the item, must shell out the place a burden on on their windfall, in excess of 5 zillion money. When i will not have a problem with that will due to the fact the majority of Us residents don’t belong to that will class, and those that do… more than likely, not absolutely, however more than likely will not be abandoned or maybe suffering.

  42. rmthunter says:

    That’s because they know quite well that the deficit is not the problem they’ve made it out to be. It’s another scare tactic. If you listen to people like Krugman and Stiglitz, both of whom have committed the unpardonable sin of bucking the received wisdom of Greenspan and Bernanke and being right about the recession and the economy in general right down the line, it’s plain that if we can get people back to work in this country (and stop rewarding the “job creators” for creating jobs everywhere else but here), the deficit will take care of itself. The deficit has been the tactic the Republicans have used to freak everyone out, and the Democrats, to their shame, bought into the hysteria. We’ve seen what the “austerity” idea has done in Greece and Spain and is likely to do in the UK. Iceland, on the other hand, nationalized the banks and has started throwing the bankers in jail, and is recovering quite nicely, thank you.

  43. Miser says:

    Precisely, or at least that is also my understanding of it. This aspect also seems to rarely enter into any conversations on the issue.

    Inherited assets have a basis that is established at the time of death. Scrooge McDuck buys one million dollars worth of XYZ corporation in 2000. He croaks, (or quacks), in 2020 when the stock is worth 21 million dollars. His heirs, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, each inherit 7 million dollars worth of stock, the “basis”, or “starting” value as far as they are concerned, is now established at 7 million for each of them. They are free to sell it and collect their 7 million without paying any taxes on it, although they would pay capital gains on any increase in value after the date of death. Over the years the stock was held any dividends paid would have been subject to taxes, but the 20 million dollar increase in the stocks value will never be taxed.

    There is an industry built around maximizing the return to heirs and avoiding or reducing any estate taxes and I suspect that as the wealthy get older they greatly reduce the amount of trading they do to maximize the amount of value they pass on.

  44. rmthunter says:

    I never liked the idea of the payroll tax holiday to begin with, although it was about the only way Obama could get money back into the economy at that point. I think lowering the payroll tax and making up the shortfall from general revenues set a dangerous precedent, as well as validating the idea of Social Security as an “entitlement” (which is a word I think should be stricken from public discourse). It just makes it easier for the Republicans (and the “centrist” Democrats) to go after Social Security again. Any bets on the chained CPI making a reappearance in a couple of months?

  45. rmthunter says:

    I suspect that Boehner’s motivation was more to pass a deal without the House Democrats at all, just to demonstrate who held the whip. His teabaggers shot him down, and now we have what looks like a decent interim measure.

  46. samiinh says:

    “I don’t care how rich you are, it rubs me the wrong way that in this
    country parents should be taxed on the family money they pass down to
    their children.”

    I believe the rationale is that the parents, who are deceased at this point, are not being taxed, but those who inherit the money, who never lifted a finger to earn it, must pay a tax on their windfall, over 5 million dollars. I don’t have a problem with that because the majority of Americans do not fall into that category, and those that do…most likely, not always, but most likely are not homeless or suffering.

  47. condew says:

    Or he’s playing Obama to see just how much he can get the President to twist arms and get Democrats to vote to harm Democratic priorities.

  48. condew says:

    I keep hoping the point of the kabuki is to let the Bush tax cuts expire in their entirety and blame the Tea Party for the tax increase.

  49. condew says:

    I really resented using a cut in Social Security taxes to distribute a stimulus because I knew when it ended we’d get all these BS arguments about how it will hurt all those poor working people. If the Social Security tax is not restored, who do you think will be guranteed to work until they die when the system collapses?

    Besides, a common story among the working poor and below is how a gifted kid managed to rise above it all because of a Grandmother who recognized the talent and took a special interest in nurturing it. Not going to happen if Grandma has to work until she can’t anymore.

  50. condew says:

    Yup. Inherited wealth means that no matter how much I study, no mater how hard I work, some dolt like George W. Bush who just happened to be born in the right bed will still be the boss and dictate my future, from what I get paid and what hours I work to who I will be permitted to vote for. I make one big mistake and I’m impoverished for life; the rich kid gets to make one mistake after another and daddy or daddy’s rich friends will rescue him every time.

  51. condew says:

    I know this whole show is intended to convince us out in the cheap seats that the theft of our future was unavoidable, but the shape of that theft remains indistinct. Now we know that for every dollar they steal from promised Social Security benefits, they will take a dollar from defense, too. Bullsh!t, every dollar from defense will be put back, only the cuts to Social Security and Medicare will be permanent. They think we are fools.

  52. condew says:

    The trillion-dollar-plus annual deficits we’ve had for the last 10 years should be ample proof that we cannot afford any tax cuts; we need the revenue.

    The last time we balanced the the budget was under the Clinton tax rates. In addition to the fact that that budget used the Social Security “surplus”, we have added the expenses of the hangover from the Iraq and Afghan wars, the “War on Terror”, and a lot of debt service. We also know tax increases are nearly impossible to get thru Congress. With the Clinton era rates and a lot of austerity we might stop running deficits, under this deal we never will.

    In deference to the state of the economy, I could see phasing the tax cut out in a way that avoids a shock top the economy and makes clear that in 3-5 years rates will go back to the Clinton rates. Other than that, I’m rooting for failure.

    The hypocrisy of elected officials saying they are concerned about the deficit and then throwing away what may be the only opportunity for new revenues for a decade is astounding.

  53. Jim Olson says:

    Hold on while I go get the lube. We’re going to need it.

  54. Drew2u says:

    I would love to know how to make 50K. Around here, that would make me one of the richest people in town!

  55. Drew2u says:

    It’s sad when my grandfather worries about our family heritage farm (125+ years) and the estate tax when I considerably doubt our entire farming property amounts to anything near $1m.

  56. FuzzyRabbit says:

    I absolutely agree. Inherited income is merely a type of unearned income, the same as lottery winnings or capital gains. We tax capital gains. We tax lottery winnings. Why not tax other unearned income?

  57. gaylib says:

    If Boehner would allow an up or down vote it would pass. So would most of the offers Dems have made. Boehner is just trying to save his ass as speaker by not allowing a bill on the floor until it gets a decent amount of support in the Senate. So not only was the House holding the entire deal hostage, a small minority in the house was doing so. Isn’t Democracy great???

  58. NCMan says:

    The Estate tax makes complete sense. To the person receiving the money, it is INCOME. And, I’m talking about money here, not a small business or family farm. The person inheriting the money didn’t earn it or pay taxes on it. It is brand new income to the beneficiary. It shouldn’t matter that it was a parent that is leaving the money to someone any more than if the person leaving you the money was unrelated to you. Besides, several MILLION is already exempt from the tax.

    If you don’t like the concept of taxing the “estate”. just tax the recipients after they receive the money instead of the estate before the money is distributed.

  59. Naja pallida says:

    It’s a tough battle between the two aspects of their nature… obstructing anything Obama is part of, or doing as their corporate masters tell them.

  60. Quiddity says:

    The estate tax is partly there to capture capital gains on appreciated assets.

  61. Kelvin Mace says:

    Without an estate tax you create aristocracies. I am not talking about people who inherit small businesses, the family farm or even a million or two. I am talking about tens of millions and up. When that kind of money passes between generations untaxed, it will eventually distort society by allowing individuals to amass millions, then billions, eventually trillions.

  62. Butch1 says:

    I think they will “cut off their noses to spite their faces” and takes us over the cliff. It was their intention all along.

  63. lynchie says:

    It took all this angst and bullshit to get to this? If paying more in taxes is required to look after the weakest of us make a case on tv in front of the country and move forward. The President and Congress continue to play carefully thought out roles while people still can’t afford health insurance, food for their families and a place to live. But Congress is worried about someone earning $400K a year. There are still no jobs and these incompetent fucks who live like royalty continue to represent their owners. If the rich don’t like paying taxes regardless of the rate then leave the country and you don’t get to take your wealth with you.

    As far as inheritance taxes it is simple the person inheriting have income and as such are taxed. In truth it is set to kick in on huge estates and again the rich want to get a pass on paying their tax on income over $5 million.

    It is the cost of living in this country.

  64. buster says:

    My support for the estate tax is two-fold. First, it is the easy path to tax those who won’t protest, and the deceased certainly qualify. Second, the argument more ground in morality, is that it is antithetical to both the American way of life and my Protestant ethic to encourage a hereditary aristocracy that results in generation after generation of indolent wealthy people who are not challenged to contribute to the society as a whole.

  65. I can’t imagine how the House Rs can accept this.

  66. Oh I agree. But it was a bit of a gimmick, because we always paid for social security out of taxes in the past, we only got a reprieve for two years it had to end some time.

  67. loona_c says:

    As one in that 50K salary range, that’s tough to come up with another $1,000. Just sayin…

  68. BeccaM says:

    What’s missing from all of these reports? No one knows what House Republicans are willing to swallow, and judging from Boehner’s ‘Plan B’ debacle the other day, House passage of a deal acceptable to Senate GOPers is by no means a certainty.

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