Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist postponed a vote on a measure to exempt most multimillionaires from federal estate taxes after conceding Republicans lack the votes to pass legislation adopted by the House last week. The delay is the third since Frist began his quest to repeal or reduce the tax last year and the second time this month his ambitions were thwarted by Democrats who say the government needs the revenue generated by the tax.But let's not give up just yet. The tax-bill writers who named this one PETRA (Permanent Estate Tax Relief Act) must have been aware of the link to Petra, the ancient city in Jordan that flourished under Roman rule, and hence to Indiana Jones, who always comes through in the clutch.
As Indiana's fans know, Petra was where the world's greatest treasure was hidden, under the guard of a Crusader knight portrayed by a real knight, Sir Laurence Olivier: The Holy Grail.
Estate-tax relief is not in quite the same league. Still, Republicans should feel inspired to continue their quest.