Will The Village Dems Be "Radicalized"?

Ezra Klein going DFH on the Senate shenanigans on the jobs issue:

The Senate Finance Committee has released a draft (PDF) of its jobs bill[. . .]:

[. . . T]here are two process agreements that are essential to completing action on [the jobs bill.] Fulfilling these agreements has been a condition precedent to the bipartisan discussions that have occurred. [. . .] [W]e are committed to timely consideration of permanent bipartisan estate and gift tax reform.

[. . .] This is the compromise that appears to have led to this package: not a better or bigger or more tax-focused jobs bill, but massive tax cuts for the rich. Tell me again why Democrats are bothering with a bipartisan jobs bill rather than running the legislation through reconciliation?

(Emphasis supplied.) Uh oh, Ezra. you are risking being a Not Serious Person with this kind of stuff. Careful.

Speaking for me only

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    Who's going to stop Baucus? (5.00 / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:07:32 AM EST
    Someone has to.  

    I know bipartisanship is the flavor of the week every week in the Senate with many Dems, but the one thing Obama emphasizes more than anything else is bipartisanship.  They're allowed to get away with it.

    It is.  Completely.  Insane.  And I can't believe (although I so can) that this is happening again.

    that is a pretty funny (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:11:20 AM EST
    headline btw.  like asking if the rabbits will become predators.

    Simple answers to simple questions (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by lambert on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:22:41 AM EST
    Young Ezra asks:
    Tell me again why Democrats are bothering with a bipartisan jobs bill rather than running the legislation through reconciliation?

    Because the two legacy parties are competing to service the client, uh, constituent that pays them.

    thank you (none / 0) (#2)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:08:36 AM EST
    Max.  again.

    I haven't really heard anybody (none / 0) (#5)
    by cawaltz on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 11:55:53 AM EST
    pointing out how waiving employers responsibility to pay the Social Security portion of the tax is going to affect a program that Washington loves to insist is in dire straights. It seems to me that rather than dismantle Social Security they are looking to defund it. First, by taking the "extra" money people receive in their checks out of funding and now not requiring employers to pay into the fund either.

    What? (none / 0) (#8)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 12:30:57 PM EST
    Honestly, I have no idea what you're talking about here.  Could you elaborate?  Is somebody seriously proposing that employers should no longer contribute to Social Security?

    Never mind (none / 0) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 12:37:27 PM EST
    I get it.  Presumably this is intended only as a temporary thing to encourage hiring, but your point still stands.  There are lots of other ways they could provide the same financial incentives without further draining the SS funds.

    I don't know which genius came up with (none / 0) (#10)
    by Anne on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:10:01 PM EST
    this idea - to exempt employers from paying their 6.2% share of SS tax on new hires who have been out of work for more than 60 days - but I don't understand how this helps in a big-picture kind of way.

    It reduces SS funding - the money being used now to pay current recipients.

    It presumably reduces the eventual benefit the exempt employee will receive when he or she is SS-eligible.

    While I suppose it increases the hiring of those who have been unemployed the longest, what will prevent employers from letting current employees go in order to hire SS-exempt workers at possibly lower wages and provide them with lower benefits?

    The estate and gift tax issue is a mess, and not just on the federal side.  No one has considered that the disappearance of the tax is accompanied by rules that require beneficiaries to assume the decedent's cost basis in the assets they inherit.  In other words, no step-up in basis to value at death; the cost basis of the house Mom and Dad bought in 1950 for $15,000, and improved with another $15,000, is the beneficiaries' basis - not the current $300,000 - so if it gets sold for $350,000, the taxable gain to the beneficiary is $320,000.  And there's no guarantee that the beneficiaries are at the same "rich" level as those who are leaving significant assets to their heirs.

    And good luck figuring out the cost basis of the stocks/bonds, etc., for which obtaining records may be difficult.


    Has Josh Marshall jumped on this (none / 0) (#6)
    by observed on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 12:00:31 PM EST
    yet? Let's see what he's really made of.

    WTF? (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 12:19:27 PM EST
    From Reuters on the bill:

    Unrelated elements such as an extension of the anti-terrorist Patriot Act and a move to stave off scheduled cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates also drive up the tab.

    They just cant help themselves from putting unrrelated crap in these bills, can they?  Even if I supported these elements I would be against doing it this way. When are we going to get a jobs bill that is really a jobs bill, and not a tax cut bill, or something else?

    I agree (none / 0) (#11)
    by cawaltz on Thu Feb 11, 2010 at 01:20:39 PM EST
    Why would the Democrats be afraid of a stand alone bill that staves off cuts to Medicare reimbursement? Or is this the Republicans who proposed this since they have been grandstanding in the health care debate on Medicare?

    Does anyone know who put these two things in the jobs bill?

    It certainly would be helpful to know.