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Congress Passes Obama-Bush Tax Cuts for the Wealthy

After a brief show of disapproval, the House went along with the Senate to extend George W. Bush’s gift to the yachting community for another two years. President Obama negotiated the compromise, which will add $858 billion to the deficit, thanks in part to generous giveaways to rich Americans — and not just those who are living.

The estate tax took a beating in this deal, leaving the first $10 million of Grandpa Warbucks’ wealth untouched and taxing the rest at a lower rate than Democrats had wanted. — PZS

AP via Google:

At the insistence of Republicans, the plan includes an estate tax that would allow the first $10 million of a couple’s estate to pass to heirs without taxation. The balance would be subject to a 35 percent tax rate.

Many House Democrats wanted a higher estate tax, one that would allow couples to pass only $7 million tax-free, taxing anything above that amount at a 45 percent rate. They argued that the higher estate tax would affect only 6,600 of the wealthiest estates in 2011 and would save $23 billion over two years.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called the estate tax the “most egregious provision” in the bill and held a vote that would have imposed the higher estate tax. It failed, 194-233.

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