Bipartisan Tax Cut Watch


Two days ago in the LA Times:

In a rare move toward bipartisanship, Senate Democrats prepared Tuesday to unveil an $85-billion jobs bill that would include payroll tax breaks for employers who create new jobs, aid to small businesses and other GOP-backed ideas to attack unemployment.

….According to a draft outline of the bill circulated by Senate Democrats, the cornerstone would be a proposal to give businesses that hire unemployed workers this year an exemption from the 6.2% Social Security payroll tax. If they keep those workers more than a year, employers would get an additional $1,000 tax credit per employee.

But wait! It turns out that’s not quite enough bipartisanship! So there’s this:

Notably, the measure does not address the estate tax, a legislative priority for many Republicans. But according to Baucus and Grassley, the negotiators agreed not to put off the issue much longer.

“First we will work to ensure that the scope of the Finance Committee package retains its bipartisan character,” they said. “Second we are committed to timely consideration of permanent bipartisan estate and gift tax reform.”

And what exactly does the estate tax have to do with a jobs bill? Nothing — unless you’re concerned about out-of-work Wall Street heirs. It’s just the price of cooperation from Republicans, because making a tax cut the centerpiece of the actual jobs bill wasn’t enough for them. So they demanded quick action on even more tax cuts.

But it’s bipartisan! And with regular folks suffering in a bad economy, who could possibly object to a tax cut for the rich? It’ll be trickling down to you and me soon enough, I’m sure. Via Ezra Klein.

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