Thursday, August 03, 2006

Robert Novak expects the tax bills to pass

Although most of the commentary suggests that Friday's vote on the estate tax bill will be very, very close, columnist Robert Novak is confident that it will pass. And he's not happy about it. In GOP deserts principles by backing 2 bills, Novak identifies two real world consequences of failure to enact the laws:

• If the extenders portion of the trifecta bill is not enacted by the September 15 corporate tax filing deadline, many large firms will be forced to restate their earnings for the year. That could affect the stock market, and it would infuriate CEOs just as they are being asked for campaign contributions in the run up to November.

• If the pension bill is not passed by September 13, the PBGC inherits the DB plans of Northwest and Delta Airlines. No one wants that.

The only way to meet these deadlines is for the Senate to enact the House versions of the bills, without amendment, before it adjourns.

Novak goes on to itemize a laundry list of tax gimmicks included to lure a few Democrat voters. He characterizes the unusual genesis of these tax bills as indicating weak leadership in the House and Senate and a President not engaged in the legislative process. Novak concludes, "At this writing, it appears all this will pass the Senate untouched by week's end."

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