Congress just can't give up the pork

December 27, 2010

You carried an AP story this weekend providing details on the recent "tax compromise." The article points out that the final bill was larded up with give-aways going well beyond what we'd heard.

Incredibly there's an additional $9.2 billion handout for Wall Street, one that seems to specifically reward making investments overseas. Plus $13 billion in new research and development tax credits for business. "Bonus depreciation" for job-creating investments was crafted to include "the purchase of racehorses." There's much more.

Undoubtedly concerned about the cost of the bill, Congress dropped a tax deduction for poorer homeowners who can't itemize. This courageous tax increase on lower income homeowners offsets between $1.6 billion and $2 billion of the $9.2 billion Wall Street gets.

Congress was so proud of their work that they apparently rushed out these details in the dead of night on Christmas Eve. Just in time for the AP to write their timely 3:40 a.m. story. A cynic might think Congress was trying to avoid the news cycle. But I'm sure that they just wanted to share the good news with us on Christmas morning.

I hope everyone saw it.

William Adams, Ellicott City

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