No. of Recommendations: 0
Author: Daryll40 Date: 5/1/01 10:44 PM Number: 37270
It's 10:45PM (Eastern) on Tuesday, May 1 and all the news services are reporting a tax deal for a $1.35Billion tax cut over 11
years. Nowhere, however, is there ANY mention of what the final "agreement" is regarding estate tax repeal/reduction. Did I
miss it? Has anyone else here seen that info?


This wont help much, Daryll, but either May 1st or 2nd I heard a commentator saying, after the $1.35T deal was cut, that there were no details available on where in the president's plan the money would be cut. He went on to say that we were probably going to see the estate tax part of the proposal eliminated because it cost so much only benefitted the top few percent, but we would not know for sure until the details were released over the next few weeks.

Most of the commentators were just saying what a great victory the compromise was for the Republicans without even touching the subject of what the president had to give up other than the overall size of the proposal. A few were saying that Mr Bush had agreed to bring a new tax proposal again next year to get Republican support for the current agreement. I was channel surfing at the time, so I don't even know what network it was I was listening to.

Some editorial comment here: Don't do any new estate-tax planning just yet. Considering the pattern of broad announcements (like this one) we have had on this subject in the past with only promises of more details later, followed, in turn, by more broad proclamations, it is pointless. What details do actually come out are usually in the form of spin-doctored press releases talking about the average family and in a format suitable for daily wire service write ups. Even though you will see Congressmen and administration official holding up piles of budget papers on daily news clips, I suspect it will be a long time before anyone outside of Congress will really know the details of what is currently on the table.

In the meantime, with press having little opportunity for more thoughtful analysis, there will be a lot of 'man in the street' type surveys asking the public whether they support what is being proposed, even though the public is as in the dark as we are. It must be tough on the reporters, too. These guys are pretty competitive and they are probaby asking the same questions you are.

-- John

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