Charting the Tax Cut Choices

The top issue — maybe the only issue besides that little continuing resolution thing to keep the federal government in business financially — of the lame duck session of Congress appears to be what to do about the expiring Bush era tax cuts.

The choices:

  • Extend all the cuts indefinitely (the GOP favorite)
  • Limit the indefinite extensions to incomes below $250,000 with those above the mark seeing a significant tax hike (President Obama’s preference)
  • A temporary extension (one to three years) across the board (the reported fallback position for Republicans)
  • The combo option — extend middle-income cuts indefinitely but limit the upper-income cuts to only a few years. It’s called decoupling and is the suggested backup plan for the Democrats
  • Do nothing and go home

Let’s hope the message sent by the voters last week was received by those serving in Washington and the final option does not become part of the mix.

Of the other four, which is most likely? My best guess (and it’s only a guess) is that decoupling might become a frequently used term. Your thoughts?