LAME DUCKS SHOWING SIGNS OF LIFE

December 20, 2006

A sweeping tax and trade bill awaiting President Bush's signature would revive some 20 tax breaks, extend trade benefits for developing countries and protect doctors from a big cut in Medicare payments, says the Houston Chronicle.

The bill would:

  • Extend through the end of next year a deduction for research and development initiatives.
  • Renew a deduction of up to $4,000 for higher education costs.
  • Give tax breaks for teachers who pay for supplies out of their own pockets.
  • Let taxpayers in nine states deduct state and local sales taxes because their states have no income taxes.
  • Open up 8.3 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas drilling, and offer a dozen credits promoting alternative and efficient uses of energy.
  • Prevent a 5 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors from taking effect on Jan. 1.
  • Renew, with increased federal contributions, a program to help clean up abandoned coal mines and provide health care for miners who worked for companies that have gone out of business.

The bill (H.R. 6111) would also permanently normalize trade with Vietnam and extend trade benefits for four Andean nations, sub-Saharan African countries and Haiti.

Source: Editorial, "Bush to sign massive tax and trade bill today," Houston Chronicle, December 20, 2006.

 

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