Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lame-Duck Session - #2443 - Senate Democrats to Hold Meaningless Tax Vote Saturday Morning, 8:30 a.m. - Hot Air (2) House Passes Legislation to Extend Only Some Tax Cuts - The Hill (3) Rich Galen: It is Not a Tax Cut - Townhall (4) Delaying Tax Vote Could Crash Stock Market - US News Politics


The Senate is scheduled to convene at 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning.  A deal between Democrats and Republicans in the Senate on the upcoming tax hikes apparently collapsed last night after one Republican withheld unanimous consent to proceed. As a result, Democrats will hold two votes tomorrow on extending the current tax rates for middle-class workers, with one including workers making under $1 million per year. The votes won’t survive a filibuster, but Democrats want to use the votes to paint the GOP as the party of the rich. However, that strategy makes a lot less sense after the jobless report this morning:  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) plans to schedule two votes on Saturday on Democratic plans to end Bush-era tax breaks for the nation’s highest income earners.  One plan sponsored by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) would extend current tax rates only for families that earn less than $250,000. The second plan offered by Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) would extend tax rates only for families that earn less than $1 million. Read more........

The House voted 234-188 Thursday to pass legislation that would extend only some of the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, sending the bill to the Senate. Twenty Democrats broke with their party and voted against the bill after 33 had defected in a previous test vote. Most of those who voted with Republicans on the first ballot were members of the centrist Blue Dog Coalition, and many lost their bids to be reelected last month. Speaker Pelosi gaveled the vote to a close herself, receiving a smattering of applause from Democratic members. The bill extends only the cuts for the middle-class, letting tax breaks end for families earning more than $250,000 per year and individuals making more than $200,000. Congress originally authorized the cuts in 2001 and 2003. Three Republicans, Walter Jones (N.C.), Ron Paul (Texas) and John Duncan (Tenn.), voted with Democrats to renew only the middle-class cuts. Senate Republicans have enough votes to filibuster the proposal, making it highly unlikely it will pass through the upper chamber and onto President Obama's desk. Republicans want all the cuts extended permanently, but both sides are currently in negotiations with the White House to find a compromise before the end of the lame-duck session.
 Here are the Democrats who voted against the bill (nine of whom lost their reelection bids): Rep. Brian Baird (Wash.) Rep. Dan Boren (Okla.) Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (Pa.) Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.) Rep. Lloyd Doggett (Texas) Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.) Rep. Ron Klein (Fla.) Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah) Rep. Mike McIntyre (N.C.) Rep. Mike McMahon (N.Y.) Rep. Jerry McNerney (Calif.) Rep. Walt Minnick (Idaho) Rep. Gwen Moore (Wis.) Rep. Jim Moran (Va.) Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.) Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) Rep. Bobby Scott (Va.) Rep. Gene Taylor (Miss.) Rep. Mike Thompson (Calif.) Rep. Pete Visclosky (Ind.)  Guess who is missing.... Tom Perriello voted for this bill, which excludes those over $250,000 which includes many small business owners.  This will raise taxes for small business which is where many jobs originate.


Rich Galen: It is Not a Tax Cut - Townhall -  The "Bush Era Tax Cuts" are no longer "Tax Cuts."  In 2001 and 2003 the Congress approved a reduction in tax rates to spur the economy. The deal was, they would expire at the end of 2010 unless they were affirmatively extended. Let's go to the calendar: 2001 was nearly 10 years ago. 2003 was almost eight years ago. The tax rates which are currently in place are the … tax rates which are currently in place.  Republicans have allowed the Left to categorize the argument as "extending the Bush Era Tax Cuts." That's flat wrong. What President Obama and most of the remaining Democrats in Congress want to do is to RAISE TAXES.  If all of the Bush Era Tax Cuts are extended, no one, not one single person of the more than 310 million in the United States will have their taxes cut. Their tax rates will remain the same.  If, on the other hand, Nancy Pelosi and her Liberal colleagues in the House want to change those rates, they will not be reversing a tax cut.  They will be RAISING TAXES.  Read  more..........


Delaying Tax Vote Could Crash the Stock Market - U.S. News Politics - Failure by Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts, especially locking in the 15 percent capital gains tax rate, will spark a stock market sell off starting December 15 as investors move to lock in gains at a lower rate than the 20 percent it would jump to next year, warn analysts. [See who gets the most money from the financial industry.]  While it is unclear how bad the sell off could be, it could wipe out the year's gains, they warn. "Capital gains tax rate will increase from 15 to 20 percent if the tax cuts are not extended. The last time the capital gains tax rate increased--on Jan. 1, 1987 from 20 to 28 percent--investors realized their gains at the lower tax rate," said Daniel Clifton at a Washington partner at Strategas Research Partners. "We would expect a similar effect this time around as investors see the tax rate going up and choose to realize their gains and incur the 15 percent tax." [See a gallery of political caricatures.]  In a memo to clients, Clifton says that the date most clients are focused on is December 15th for a deal in Congress before beginning to sell. One reason: Many stock options expire that day and investors have to act.  Read more........

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