The death tax compromise passed the House today, 269-156.
The debate got really nasty a couple of times, and Dems' repeatedly whined about how the Bush administration was trying to lighten the burden for rich people at the expense of Americans, forgetting that rich people are, gasp!, Americans too.
The National Association of Manufacturers pointed out, in a Key Vote Letter, that those hurt by the death tax aren't just a bunch Scrooge McDucks swan diving into their bullion-filled swimming pools:
Large estate tax bills and related attorneysâ€™ fees force the sale of many small manufacturing companies upon the ownerâ€™s death. Only one-third of family-owned businesses survive into the next generation. For many of the two-thirds that donâ€™t, death taxes are a prime reason. This is very short-sighted tax policy â€“ a business that has to close and sell off assets to pay a death tax stops paying income taxes and payroll taxes â€“ workers lose jobs and the government loses revenue.
Right now, the House is debating the Rep. Ryan's line-item veto legislation. Rep. Corrine Brown is right this very minute speaking about how the line-item veto would make the House "putty in the hands--see this putty in my hand?!?-- of a President who shows nothing but contempt for this body."
She's yelling and she's squeezing a large lump of what looks like yellow Play-Doh. I reckon Silly Putty would have had less impact on TV, what with its neutral hue. Somebody's press office was on the ball. I was about to blog in favor of the line-item veto, but that putty rhetoric has got me thinking twice.
I love C-SPAN. Nothing like it for seeing the true colors of our deliberative bodies. More on the line-item veto in a bit.