Wikileaker Julian Assange is set to be released from the Tower of London, beheading to be postponed.
Words and gossip can once again flow freely over the InnerTubes. But diplomats should be warned against assessing the dimensions, quality and value of Ukrainian nurses’ racks attending Moammar Gadhafi.
The matter is not put to rest, however. The U.S. government is actively seeking ways to bring this 21st Century tattle-tale to justice – or, rather, the U.S. version of justice for people who spread information across the globe. It’s embarrassing, after all, and by golly no one is entitled to embarrass the government of the United States! We can more than adequately handle that ourselves!
Speaking of that, the Senate cleared the great tax deal yesterday and sent it to the House of Representatives, where feisty Democrats say they will strip out of it a boondoggle for the 100 or so wealthiest families who might have to pay a bit more in taxes when old codgers die and pass along millions to their trust-fund babies.
Ha! That’ll show ‘em, by golly.
They won’t really do it, of course. They’ll feign ferocity and, in the end, vote to go along with the tax deal.
But wouldn’t be funny if they really voted to strip out of the bill the estate tax silliness? That would, of course, alter the bill and require it to go back to the Senate where Republican senators say they would, then, reject it completely.
This would send the entirety of Washington into apoplexy. The Senate would freak out. The President would freak out.
The year would end and millionaires and billionaires would have to, collectively, come up with $300 billion to help reduce the federal deficit.
Of course, taxes would also go up for what’s left of the middle class, too; and we’d lose that extra $19.95 in our pay each month. Unemployment benefits would have to be extended under a separate measure. But fixing these problems all possible – assuming Democrats have any spine left, which is iffy at best.
If Congress walked away for the year and let the tax cuts expire, the poorest 20 percent of Americans would have to pay an additional $393 in taxes in 2011. The middle 20 percent would have to pay $1,521 more and the richest 1 percent would see their taxes go up by nearly $77,000.
But, you see, there is actually a bigger picture than this. It’s called the future of the country (what a concept).
James Kwak, writing in the Baseline Scenario, argues letting the tax cuts expire is far better in the long run for the middle class than extending the current – and modest – tax cuts because increasing revenues now and over the next 10 years will help keep Social Security and Medicare afloat.
But Republicans are not interested in that. No, sir. You see the end game here is to see Social Security and Medicare destroyed…dismantled…go away…everyone for themselves.
Not to worry, the rich will be just fine.