So Ben Nelson has claimed he is leaning against the budget because of how much it is going to cost, even though he is fighting efforts to change student loan subsidies that would save taxpayers $4 billion per year.
Well, he’s now also one of nine Democratic senators who voted to cut the estate tax for multi-millionaires at a cost of $250 billion over the first ten years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
from yesterday’s Washington Post:
This would have been outrageous even before the current economic and fiscal mess. Now it is outrageous and nonsensical. Senators should not be fooled by estimates that understate the true cost of this tax cut or promises that it will be paid for somehow. Any senator considering voting for this amendment should ask him or herself: Even if that were true, aren’t there better uses of hundreds of billions of dollars than reducing taxes even further for the tiny sliver of Americans subject to the estate tax?
The hypocrisy here is breathtaking. Reducing the estate tax would harm charities because it eliminates some of the incentive for making charitable bequests — yet some of the very senators who back estate tax cuts were quick to denounce Obama administration tax proposals that they argued would hurt charitable giving. More fundamentally, it is hard to stomach those who argue for more tax cuts — and then bemoan the failure to stanch rising deficits.