December 14, 2005


Frist Says AMT Fix May Be Deferred (Bloomberg News, December 14, 2005)

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said Congress may postpone until next year a measure to prevent 15 million households from paying $30 billion under the alternative minimum tax, indicating that extending tax cuts on capital gains and dividends was a higher priority. [...]

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the delay of the AMT measure was "a punch in the gut to the middle class." The minimum-tax fix, he said, "should have been our number one tax priority and instead, because of right wing ideological objectives, the middle and upper middle class will suffer and only the very, very wealthy will benefit."

AMT is the lever by which Democrats can be forced into voting for a real tax bill--why give it away?

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 14, 2005 12:01 PM

"why give it away?"

Because that's what the Stupid Party has always done before? In return they'll get a promise that the Dems will say nice things about them along with a bag of magic beans.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 14, 2005 12:44 PM

Gee, I don't see Schummer (nor the MSM) blasting his party for holding up passage of a Federal bill that expands and promotes the therapeutic exploitation of (discraded) umbilical chord stem cells -- great medical promise, no ethical concerns -- because they want to pass an alternative program that focuses on greatly expanding the use of embryonic stemm cells. They are not "giving that away".

Posted by: MGNC at December 14, 2005 12:55 PM

The GOP leadership is probably thinking it is more important to prevent an existing tax cut from expiring than to create a new tax cut. Makes some sense but I agree with Raoul - The Dems are going on record as wanting to get rid of the AMT so force a vote on it. If the AMT goes then you can move back to the dividend and other tax cuts.

Posted by: AWW at December 14, 2005 1:49 PM

The AMT is 'a punch in the gut to the middle class'? But, but it was enacted in 1969 to impact 22 millionaires. Is Schumer saying that America is better off now? Has the economy grown? Is Hoover dead?

Then make Bush's tax cuts permanent - and hold the AMT over all the Democratic heads until that vote passes. Act like a 55-seat majority. Now.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 14, 2005 2:06 PM

It's hard to not believe that Republicans are doing the left's bidding when it seems obvious that not forcing votes is detrimental not only to the country, but to their own political life.

Why did they agree to postpone Alito's confirmation hearings, agree to stall the Barrett Report, agree to back down on AMT, social security reform and on and on. Make both sides of the aisle stand up and vote, or stand up and filibuster.

This is really annoying. Get these things done, so Bush can concentrate on the war.

Posted by: erp at December 14, 2005 2:07 PM

When it comes to dispensing pork for their districts and goodies for themselves, the Stupid Party seems to have no problem in behaving just like the Dems did when they ran the show. And that behavior just may provide one of the cracks that the Dems need to drive their wedge needed to take the place back. That's what makes their gutless behavior on the items that matter so infuriating.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 14, 2005 3:41 PM


I forgot about the Barrett report - I don't think they can bury that one forever. Make it a campaign issue and force Kent Conrad, Bill Nelson, Ben Nelson, Maria Cantwell, Byrd, and the rest to defend suppressing it.

If I were Roy Blunt, I'd be squeezing Henry Waxman's bald head on this issue every day. Suppressing a report that involves the abuse of the IRS? It's a good story that Waxman, Levin, and Dorgan cannot defend.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 14, 2005 4:22 PM


That's what we send them there to do.

Posted by: oj at December 14, 2005 5:42 PM

I'm not sure if we're being too wonkish here, or not wonkish enough.

Too wonkish -- No actual citizen knows or cares about the ATM unless caught up in it.

Not wonkish enough -- ATM reform is a great vehicle for bringing in a flat consumption tax.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 14, 2005 6:03 PM

During the Christmas recess Bush should have them all at the ranch and read them the riot act. I'd say Frist should resign, but I have no suggestions to replace him. Out of fifty people, there's nary a one I think has the ability and the intestinal fortitude to lead in a forceful manner, stare down the moonbats and not give an inch.

Posted by: erp at December 14, 2005 6:49 PM

Yet they keep winning.

Posted by: oj at December 14, 2005 7:05 PM

It's the fun part of what we send them to do, I'll grant you that. And when they do a good job on the dirty parts of the job, then no one would begruge them having that fun, too. But they aren't even trying any more. They are acting like a bunch of college students who think they're on a perpetual Spring Break, and the credit cards are all going to magically pay themselves off. Or better yet, a bunch of 4 year olds who think that every meal should be nothing but icecream and pizza and no one will notice the piles of brocolli and peas around their high chairs.

And when they finally get spanked, the Dems will make sure we all get spanked much harder for our having dared removing them from rightful, God-given seats of power. It's turning into a no-win situation.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at December 14, 2005 7:59 PM