Well, the financial bailout is signed into law. What did it take to get legislators to commit $700 billion for Wall St? Here's part of what I found.
* Creation of a seven-year cost recovery period for construction of a motorsports racetrack: Track owners currently follow a seven-year depreciation schedule and write each year's depreciation off their taxes. The IRS wanted to increase the depreciation timetable to 15 years, which would mean the track owner's depreciation would be cut in half. The measure in the keeps the seven-year depreciation schedule for two years and would cost taxpayers $100 million.
* Income averaging for amounts received in connection with the Exxon Valdez litigation: The measure would allow the plaintiffs who won damages from Exxon Mobile for the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez to average the award over three years rather than treating it as income in a single year. The measure was backed by Alaska Rep. Don Young and would cost taxpayers $49 million.
* Secure rural schools and community self-determination program: The program replaces revenue rural communities used to enjoy from the sale of federal forest land. The measure is sponsored by lawmakers from Oregon and Idaho. The program would cost taxpayers $3.3 billion.
* Deduction of state and local sales taxes: The measure allows citizens who do not pay state income taxes to deduct the amount of sales tax they pay over a year from their federal income tax for two additional years. States that benefit include Texas, Nevada, Florida, Washington and Wyoming. The measure would cost taxpayers $3.3 billion.
* Transportation fringe benefit to bicycle commuters: The measure would allow employers to provide benefits to employees who commute to work via bicycle, such as help purchasing and maintaining a bicycle. The measure would cost taxpayers $10 million.
That's the way they made it work. To get something like this passed you find out what the "no's" want and add that to the bill. Make it more palatable for each legislator. But while it may be easier to stomach what they're doing is ignoring the cancer within.
How much longer do I have, doc?
On The Road
23 hours ago