No, they're not all trending heavily towards Barack Obama.
No, all are beneficiaries of tax cuts in the Senate budget that is "all but certain" to be accepted by the House.
No, seriously, I'm not making this up.
Mind you, I'm fine with cutting taxes for the working poor. Any extra wages they get to keep are more likely to be spent, and stimulate the economy, than tax cuts benefiting wealthy Americans. Tax cuts for married couples and people with children might have similar benefits... but those inheriting large estates?
Here's a little more detail to satisfy your inner wonk:
Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois, pushed through a plan to selectively preserve $340 billion of President Bush's tax cuts through 2013. It would extend the 10 percent tax bracket, the $1,000 per child tax credit, relief from the so-called marriage penalty and various tax cuts for people serving in the military and national guard.We can debate the appropriate threshold for the estate tax, as well as the most effective rate, and we should. Just don't tell me that the estate tax should be abolished, or that its the moral equivalent of the Holocaust, as do Grover Norquist and the Club for Growth types.
Senate Republicans rallied behind a losing effort to extend an additional $376 billion of Bush's tax cuts by preserving all other current tax rates. Otherwise those rates will rise 3 percentage points at the end of 2010 and the highest rate will rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. The GOP plan also would have provided more generous relief on inheritances. Estates worth up to $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples would have been exempted from the estate tax, with a 35 percent rate above those inheritance levels. That rate is now scheduled to return to 55 percent in 2011.
Isn't it enough to exempt estates worth $5 million for a single person and $10 million for a married couple? Or should we exempt the first $20 million? Or just the first million? How many people are we talking about? Is taxing the amount above $5 or $10 million at the 55% rate too egregious? Is it somehow a disincentive against earning? My millionaire friends all gripe about this... "You know, I would LOVE to have an estate worth $11 million, but I just can't stand the thought of our government taxing that extra million after my wife and I are dead."