The White House has posted its summary of the agreement the President and Republicans worked out on the pressing tax issues of the day, “Fact Sheet on the Framework Agreement on Middle Class Tax Cuts and Unemployment Insurance.”
There are several items that have been high on the priority list for the National Association of Manufacturers, including the full extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax rates for two years, the R&D tax credit, and full business expensing for one year. From the section, “Business Tax Cuts to Increase Investment and Growth”:
In September, the President called for temporarily allowing businesses to expense all of their investments in 2011. This growth-oriented tax cut was included in the framework agreement.
- According to the Treasury Department, complete expensing could generate more than $50 billion in additional investment in the U.S. in 2011.
- The provision will provide a crucial incentive to 2 million businesses to invest and create jobs in the U.S and would be the largest temporary investment incentive in American history.
- The framework agreement also includes a 2-year extension of the R&D tax credit and other tax incentives to support business expansion.
The White House does not mention the agreement to set the estate tax rate at 35 percent with a $5 million exemption for the next two years, adopting the language from Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR). Short of complete repeal, the NAM had supported that level as a realistic compromise.
The majority of Republican and conservative commentators we pay attention to seemed pleased. Democrats and the left appear dyspeptic. Round-up of coverage in the extended entry below …
Heritage Foundation, “Holiday Treat for the Bush Tax Cuts?“: “Maybe it’s the holiday season, but if the reports are true President Obama and congressional Republicans have reached a compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts that gives taxpayers and the economy a wondrous gift.”
National Review Online, “A Qualified Victory“: “It is possible that Republicans could have gotten an even better deal next year, since their numbers in Congress will increase in January. But that would have left them having to cut taxes retroactively and left households paying first higher and then lower taxes. Acting now reduces both uncertainty and volatility. Republicans can now spend the next two years advancing spending cuts and long-term tax reform.”
Huffington Post, “Tax Cut Deal: Dean, Ex-Obama Advisers Lament President’s Plan“: “WASHINGTON — Obama’s decision to craft a deal with Republicans on the Bush tax cuts may have been, as administration officials insist, the product of economic and political necessities. But it has created deep reservoirs of distrust with the president’s ability to handle high-stakes negotiations and has compelled even former staffers to level blunt criticisms about the White House’s politics.”
The Hill, “Left sees tax surrender, says Obama reelection bid now crippled“: ”‘President Obama has shown a complete refusal to fight Republicans throughout his presidency even when the public is on his side — and millions of his former supporters are now growing disappointed and infuriated by this refusal to fight,’ said Adam Green, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.”