(edited to add a resource below detailing the changes)
Firstly, about this “tax cut” bill. It’s not a tax cut. The fiscally responsible folks in Congress stopped a tax hike. The irresponsible ones, those who have no idea of what makes the U.S. economy tick and care little about individual rights, were trying to hike your taxes. But secondly, the pandering rhetoric about the estate tax is more pathetic than pandering. The gall of the (almost) former Speaker talking about the concession NOT to gouge successful people with a draconian estate tax as if that was a “benefit” is the height of economic class-warfare!
In order for the President to get those terms accepted, the Republicans insisted that $23 billion in benefits go to 6,600 wealthiest families in America * * * *
Since when is it a “benefit” to get to keep the property — the estate — that you worked hard for? OK, sure, like the NY Congressman Weiner said, you’re dead but you darn sure should get to leave it to whomever you wish. Here is that report:
On Fox News this afternoon, New York Rep. Anthony Weiner dismissed host Megyn Kelly’s moral concerns over the estate tax. She tried to argue that it was an unfair burden to have to pay extra taxes on inheritances when that money was already taxed as income during the person’s life. “You aren’t paying anything in that case because you’ll be dead,” Weiner responded.
There’s arrogance, and then there’s callous arrogance. Besides, when last I looked it up, the estate tax produced something like 1/2 of 1% of the total federal revenues. The estate tax is not about revenue, it’s about redistribution of wealth and punishing success; and, at its core, it’s about jealousy.
There is no tax cut — in either income or estate taxes — an INCREASE was headed off. I say the estate tax increase was headed off because the amount of the increase is far less than what the liberals wanted. Here’s a little history:
The House in 2009 approved an estate tax rate of 45% with a $3.5 million exemption. If Congress does not act by Dec. 31, the estate tax rate will zoom to 55% with a $1 million exemption, while marginal tax rates will return to their higher late-1990s levels.
House may amend estate tax provision: Hoyer – Investment News. The 35% rate with a $5 million exemption is a considerable improvement.
The House of Representatives on Thursday by a vote of 277–148 passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, HR 4853, which would postpone the sunset of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, reduce the estate tax, extend a large number of expired provisions, and extend unemployment benefits. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature, which is expected soon.
The House passed the Senate’s version of the bill without amendment. Prior to the vote on the bill, the House rejected, by a vote of 194–233, a motion that would have stricken the estate tax provisions in the bill and replaced them with an estate tax provision providing for a 45% rate and a $3.5 million exemption.
The bill has provisions covering the estate tax, expiring tax cuts, expired tax provisions and an alternative minimum tax (AMT) patch.
The bill postpones the scheduled sunset of the lower tax rates introduced in 2001 by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA, PL 107-16); those rates will now continue through 2012. The bill also continues the lower capital gains tax rate introduced by the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (PL 108-27) through 2012.
via Tax Cut Extension Enacted, Journal of Accountancy, American Institute of CPAs. Much greater detail in the full article.