Saturday, July 29, 2006

Minimum Wage Increase Coupled with Estate Tax Reduction

House Republicans, feeling pressure to allow a vote on raising the minimum wage, passed a stinker of a bill. H.R. 5970 (the text of which is not available as this is written) combines an increase from $5.15 to $7.25 an hour over three years with a reduction in the estate tax that would cost $268 billion in revenue over ten years. More specifically, the bill would raise the minimum estate subject to taxation from $2 million to $5 million ($10 million for married couples).
Understanding what increasing the minimum wage has to do with cutting the estate tax requires logic that works only in an election year. The bill provides cover for GOP moderates (including Mike Castle who voted Aye) who want to go on record supporting an increase in the minimum wage.
As the Washington Post reports, some lawmakers seem to think they did something clever:
"I know why you're mad," said Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.). "You've seen us really outfox you."
Perhaps outpork would be a better way of putting it. The bill was larded up with special interest breaks for coal and timber companies that would further cost the federal government:
Against the wishes of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), they included a measure that would shift costs of health care and environmental reclamation from coal companies to the federal government at a cost of nearly $4 billion over the next decade. Another measure, aimed at Washington state's two Democratic senators, would give timber companies a tax break worth $428 million over five years.
In total, the tax package would cost the Treasury nearly $310 billion through 2016.
Hopefully this unwieldy mess will collapse under its own weight when it gets to the Senate.

5 Comments:

Blogger FirstState said...

Hopefully this unwieldy mess will collapse under its own weight when it gets to the Senate.

I agree. A raise in the minimum wage is unneccesary and counterproductive.

6:54 PM, July 29, 2006  
Anonymous Mike M. said...

Hopefully this unwieldy mess will collapse under its own weight when it gets to the Senate.

I agree. Estate tax cuts to those who don't need them are unnecessary and counterproductive.

1:52 PM, July 30, 2006  
Blogger jason said...

bu,,,but,,,but my buddy's, friend's, cousin once heard about a guy who knows a guy who had to sell his farm because of the estate tax.

8:34 AM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger FirstState said...

That's not funny, J. It's not. Imagine building something your whole life, leaving it to your kids and then having the government force them to sell it.

3:26 PM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Jason Potter said...

Seems like inheritance is upper class welfare. The kids of billionaires didn't earn their money they get from inheriting it from their family. They just receive it as a matter of circumstance. Conservatives rally against welfare (free money) given to poor people, what's the difference between that and inheritance?

5:56 PM, August 02, 2006  

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