Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Eleanor Clift Starts NPT Column - Estate Tax will survive the November election

Political pundit Eleanor Clift starts a Web-only column for The NonProfit Times, which will appear monthly through the November presidential election. A Newsweek columnist, book author and television commentator on The McLaughlin Group and numerous other programs, she'll talk to Washington, D.C., insiders to let nonprofit managers know what to expect on important issues.

Here is a sample from her first column:
Not Dead Yet - Estate Tax will survive the November election

By Eleanor Clift
The estate tax was a hot political issue when Republican pollster Frank Luntz renamed it “the death tax,” persuading millions of Americans without enough assets to be affected that Uncle Sam would fleece them at the grave, denying heirs what was rightfully theirs. Calling for an end to the estate tax became a rallying cry for Republicans throughout the nineties, but politicians don’t talk about it anymore, and there’s a reason for that.

Whoever wins the White House in November, John McCain or one of his Democratic rivals, Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton, the estate tax will still be with us. Planned giving officers at nonprofit organizations should rest easy. There is no way a Democratic Congress will allow the estate tax to expire, and Democrats will have the numbers in both the House and the Senate to work their will regardless of which party captures the White House.

In the House, a high number of Republican retirements, 29 at last count, make it a certainty that Democrats will increase their margin, a proposition that seemed shaky until recently. The Democrats took control in November ’06 in part because they won marginal districts that could revert back to the GOP. That looks unlikely in the wake of the Democrats picking up the seat held for two decades by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a sign that there is trouble ahead for the Republicans...

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