Custom Search

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Compromise Passes the House

Well, the Estate Tax/Minimum Wage compromise passed the house early this morning. The Republicans played it very well. The bill includes an increase in the minimum wage over 3 years to$ 7.25 but they included enough stuff the democrats could not stomach, such as eliminating the tax on estates up to 5 million dollars (10 Million for married couples). So now if (and I say IF) the bill passes the Senate next week, it will look like Republicans passed a minimum wage bill while the Democrats voted against it. Hopefully people will realize that it has been in fact the Democrats who have been fighting for an increase in the minimum wage all along, even more so since gas and heating prices have gone through the roof. The only reason this bill even came to the floor was because moderate Republicans are scared. People are upset with Republican leadership and they needed something to make it look like they were out to help the little guy.

It is great that we are giving more tax cuts; great if you like debt and making our children pay for it. Even the Treasury Department agrees that down the road we are going to have to cut spending or raise taxes to pay for Bush's tax cuts, and here we added even more tax cuts. Yes, in the long run, the taxes might benefit the economy, but that necessitates also limiting spending, something has decided not to do. So we continue to increase spending and continue to cut taxes. Any economist would agree that is bad in the long run. Government costs money to run, no question. If we do not pay for it, our children will.

Some other highlights of the Compromise bill: Pension reform, tax break to timber, increase educational tax deduction, shifting the costs of health care and environmental reclamation from coal companies to the federal government, a research-and-development tax credit, a credit for hiring workers off welfare, and a credit to promote wind energy.