Friday, November 19, 2010

Paging Heraclitus

Heraclitus, as imagined by Hendrick ter Brugghen in 1628

Where is the Greek philosopher Heraclitus when Congress needs him?

As Jim Gust notes in recent posts, the Dems and Reps know they're going to extend the Bush tax cuts. But … they just can't figure out how to do it.

Some temporary!

Others permanent!

All temporary!

All permanent!
Give me a break! In my lifetime the Internal Revenue Code has never achieved long-term stability. Never. "Improvements" to the last serious effort at income tax reform, in the 1980s, began metastasizing almost immediately.

All together, now. What did Heraclitus teach us?

Nothing is permanent except change.

Change on the estate-tax front is a certainty. But what sort of change?

Laura Saunders in the WSJ:
The Bush tax-cut extension has lawmakers so tied up that they have pushed the estate tax to a back burner. According to BNA's Daily Tax Report, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D., Mont.) said on Nov. 16, "We're barely talking about it, let alone ready to make a decision."
Could this all be a bad dream?

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