Senate Sends Tax Bill to House

Senate Sends Tax Bill to House

 December 15, 2010

The Senate on Wednesday approved a tax deal between the White House and congressional Republicans. The vote was 81 to 19. Sen. Bernie Sanders voted against the $858 billion package. He supported parts of the bill to continue tax cuts for the middle class and extend unemployment benefits. He opposed giving more tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, which he said will deepen deficits and grow the gap between the rich and the rest of America. Sanders proposed an amendment that he told colleagues would have let Bush-era tax breaks for the top 2 percent expire on schedule and make other significant changes. The Sanders Amendment received 43 votes, an impressive result for a  proposal resisted by the White House and Senate leadership from both sides of the aisle.

“We made an impressive showing for a stronger and fairer proposal that would create more jobs, lower the debt, and do more for Social Security than the deal brokered by the White House and congressional Republicans,” Sanders said. “The fact that we got 43 votes in opposing the president and Republican leadership indicates great discontent with the course we are embarking on.”

The amendment would have struck an estate tax proposal to exempt all but the richest estates. Sanders suggested returning to estate tax rates in effect in 2009 for two years. He would have exempted the first $3.5 million of an estate from taxation and imposed a 45 percent estate tax rate on the value of estates above $3.5 million.

The Sanders amendment would have replaced the payroll tax holiday with a one year extension of the Make Work Pay Credit — a proposal that will provide more tax relief to those who need it most while not threatening the solvency of the Social Security trust fund.

Sanders’ amendment also would have provided a $250 payment to some 58 million senior citizens, veterans and persons with disabilities.  Unless Congress acts, senior citizens will be going without a cost of living increase for a second year in a row at a time when the prices they pay for prescription drug and health care are soaring.  

Sanders led Senate opposition to the bill, which he critiqued in a marathon 8 ½ hour floor speech on Friday.


About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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