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One of the major topics will be the "trifecta" minimum wage bill Republicans wanted to pass thru Congress. Inside the trifecta bill:

  • Minimum wage:
    Increases the $5.15 hourly minimum wage to $7.25 in three steps:
    $5.85 on Jan. 1, 2007
    $6.55 on June 1, 2008,
    and $7.25 on June 1, 2009.

  • Estate tax: Gradually increases the amount of an estate exempt from taxation until it reaches $5 million for an individual and $10 million for a couple in 2015. Taxes estates worth up to $25 million at capital gains tax rates, currently 15 percent and scheduled to increase to 20 percent. Estates larger than $25 million would be taxed at 40 percent in 2010 and 30 percent in 2015.

  • Extends through 2007 some tax breaks that expired last year including: a deduction for state and local sales taxes, a deduction for college tuition, and a deduction for teachers who purchase classroom supplies.

  • For one year, allows homeowners to deduct the cost of premiums for mortgage insurance.

  • Extends the business research and development tax credit through 2007.

  • Revives incentives for businesses to hire welfare recipients and other workers facing barriers to employment.

  • Allows whistleblowers to be paid 15 percent to 30 percent of taxes eventually collected from evaders who owe more than $2 million.

  • Increases contribution to states for an abandoned mine fund.

    Senate Democrats turned all this down, including raising the minimum wage, because they didn't like the estate tax breaks (they say). In reality, it's mostly because their weapon for getting voters to the polls in November, the minimum wage issue they plan to put on the ballot in many states including Ohio, would be made irrelevant if Congress passed a minimum wage.

    Shame on them.
  • Comments

    ( 1 conspiracy theory — Conspire Here! )
    Aug. 6th, 2006 07:46 am (UTC)
    The Democrats will be a great party when they love poor people more than they hate rich people (apologies to Golda Meir).
    ( 1 conspiracy theory — Conspire Here! )