The House today voted 225-200 (all Republicans were nays) to prevent the federal estate tax from expiring next month and crippling the budget. This will keep in place a maximum 45 percent estate tax on estates valued (after deductions for debt, etc.) at $3.5 million, or $7 million for a couple, an amount that exempts all but less than 1 percent of estates. Only Republican Rep. John Boozman opposed the measure from Arkansas.
The Senate's next. Sen. Lincoln generally shares the view of wealthy timber barons, the Koch family, the Waltons, etc., that there should be no estate tax, even for the lucky sperm club inheritors of billions in appreciated assets that have never been taxed. (Before Lincoln begins her customary moan about the small family farmer and local florist shops, note that farmers and closely held businesses with holdings worth free and clear more than the threshhold ($7 million for a married coule) are afforded a 15-year payout at favorable interest rates on any tax liability and it only applies on the amount above the threshhold.)