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House Democrats Seek Higher Estate Tax Than Obama-GOP Deal

Dec 9, 2010

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So what specifically do House Democrats most want to change about the Obama-GOP tax cut compromise?

NPR's David Welna has talked to plenty of Democrats on Capitol Hill and tells us the following:

... What they're almost all demanding is that the estate tax provision be replaced with what the House passed last year — a 45% tax on everything over $3.5 million for individuals and $7 million for couples.

There were also demands that the Social Security tax break be offset, and of course, that there be no extension for the top two income brackets.

Under the Obama-Republican "framework", the estate tax would fall to 35 percent and would exempt the first $5 million of an estate for two years.

Meanwhile, the payroll tax partial holiday, which would knock the rate employee's pay by 2 percentage points to 4.2 percent would cost Social Security $120 billion a year, according to experts. The fear is that it would result in the program being able to meet the demands of future retirees.

House Democrats are also very angry because they accuse President Obama of cutting a deal with Republicans behind their backs.

The Hill has a quote from Oregon Democrat Peter DeFazio whose resolution to reject the compromise was what Democrats approved in a non-binding vote Thursday. DeFazio said:

... "We had a representative in the room bargaining, while the deal was being cut somewhere else."

"[Vice President Biden when visiting with House Democrats Wednesday] basically said, 'Take it or leave it,'" DeFazio said. "We left it. It's up to them."

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