More on Tax Deal – Moving On

My view of the deal has been pretty blurry.

Further to this morning’s post about the proposed tax deal between Obama and Congressional Republicans.

I am embarrassed to say that until recently I have only looked at the deal in extremely brief installments, both hands over my eyes.  The rhetoric about Obama’s “caving” has been so intense in the media (reported by some as a nearly shameful failure of will) that I  couldn’t stand to make myself read the details.

But finally, this morning, I listened to Obama’s press conference about the proposal;  his frankness, pragmatism and articulate good sense immediately made me feel better about him and the future of his presidency.

Now I’ve made myself read more details of the proposed plan.  Come on, people!   I mean by that, come on, liberals!  (I have a sense they are the only ones that read this blog.)  It’s not that bad.  The estate tax provisions call for the return of the Federal estate tax with a $5 million exemption and 35% maximum rates.  That’s pretty reasonable from both sides of the aisle.  Unlike the 2010 provisions (in which the estate tax is abolished but so is the capital gains step-up), the proposal favors the middle class.  It also covers some concerns about the increasing stratification of wealth.  (Although, frankly, wealth and income divisions might perhaps be better addressed through better education, support for families, and a shareholder crackdown on excess executive compensation than simply through estate tax policies.  Few really like the idea of of confiscatory estate taxes.)

The proposed deal is undoubtedly superior than any Obama will get after January.   And some are pushing to simply let the Bush cuts expire under their own terms, the ensuing stalemate would be a terrible quagmire.   (For which, Obama would be blamed no matter how many times Republicans voted no.)

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