Last week Republican leaders walked out of the deficit reduction negotiations they had been participating in with Vice President Biden and Democratic lawmakers. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-AZ) declared an impasse over the inclusion of tax increases in the discussion and insisted President Obama needed to become more directly involved in the discussions.
Since then the President has begun to meet with Republicans and Democrats separately in hopes of finding a path to an eventual agreement. Insiders now doubt that an agreement can be reached by the early July deadline Vice President Biden had aimed for, but, although it is little comfort to investors, there is still more than a month for Congress to act before the nation reaches its $14.3 trillion debt limit on August 2.
Most public statements from key Democrats who are seeking increased tax revenues as part of the deficit reduction effort have focused on eliminating energy tax incentives and subsidies. Policy and Taxation Group is remaining vigilant to minimize the risk that any proposals might increase the estate tax burden on families and family businesses.