Senate passes controversial tax cut deal
December 15th, 2010
04:24 PM ET

Senate passes controversial tax cut deal

By the CNN Wire Staff

Washington (CNN) - The Senate approved a controversial $858 billion tax cut package Wednesday, overwhelmingly voting to extend the Bush-era tax reductions despite a series of objections from both the left and the right.

The measure, which passed 81-19, now advances to the House of Representatives.

The House will take up the bill Thursday, according to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland.

The package includes a two-year extension of the Bush-era tax cuts set to expire December 31. It also would extend unemployment benefits for 13 months, cut the payroll tax by 2 percentage points for a year, restore the estate tax at a lower level and continue a series of other tax breaks.

Check out the complete story on CNN Politics.

Topics: President Obama • Tax cuts • The News

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soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Clearbrook

    The Majority of Americans care about this, and like Obama, know there is something for everyone to hate in it.

    There are still some delussional people thinking "Their" personal agenda items, DADT, DREAM, START or whatever, should pass either first, or only. This is LAME DUCK. It will not happen. Pelosi will do as the President EXPLICITLY asks, or it is on her and the rest of the Democrats in the House. Come January, the game is the same, just a lot of the players have changed, and what Pelosi wants will matter no more! Worse, the other items that the President wants are put in dire straits. You think filibuster was ridiculous now, wait until January if you make December a continuation of the Previous 2 years of Exclusion the Democrats have practiced. It will get *very* ugly, and little that the Uber Left wants will survive at all in *any* form...


    December 15, 2010 at 5:44 pm |
  2. hsr0601

    Back when Bush was pushing his tax cut packages through Congress in 2001 and 2003, supporters said the cuts (which weren't balanced with spending reductions) would initiate an era in which the American economy would grow so robustly the nation would be running a surplus of more than $5 trillion at the scheduled expiration date. U.S.  now runs a deficit of about $1.3 trillion

    In sharp contrast, Former President Bill Clinton left a record surplus, despite the warning of potential economic disaster over tax increase for the wealthiest. 

    December 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm |
  3. hsr0601

    "I oppose borrowing nearly $1 trillion over the next two years when we will pay $438 billion in interest on the national debt this year alone", REP. PETE VISCLOSKY claims.

    The estate tax, first enacted in 1916, was never intended to be simply a device for raising revenue. Rather, it was meant to address the phenomenon of a small number of Americans controlling large amounts of the country’s wealth — which was considered a national problem.

    I think we all know that the advanced countries are marked by the strong base of middle class, which ensures persistent economic vitality.
    But Americans seem little inclined to resist wealth concentration. Efforts to impose taxes geared to the wealthy are lambasted as promoting class warfare.

    Reacting to Republican opposition United for a Fair Economy, a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, issued the following statement:

    "In the last decade, we've seen a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the rich, and tax policy has been a big driver of that," said Mike Lapham, director of UFE's Responsible Wealth project. "Extending the Bush tax cuts would give the average millionaire over $100,000 per year. Extending those tax cuts will do nothing to create jobs. Business owners make decisions about hiring based on demand, not based on their tax rate. By contrast, when middle class people get tax cuts, they spend it and that creates jobs. Republicans are blocking tax cuts for the real job creators – 98% of Americans, the vast middle class – in order to extend extra tax giveaways to the rich."

    And added, "Republicans claim they are for fiscal responsibility, but they would like to repeal the estate tax, at a cost of $700 billion over 10 years. Republicans aren't concerned about growing wealth inequality, even though it hurts our country's economic growth and health, and is now the worst it's been since 1928. They opposed Sen. Baucus' bill, which sets the estate tax exemption at $7 million for a married couple, with a 45% rate on amounts above that. A stronger estate tax, with higher rates on billionaires, would do more to curb that wealth inequality and bring more broadly shared prosperity to all."

    December 17, 2010 at 3:47 am |