Senate Blocks Tax Hikes

Fix shields millions from alternative minimum tax
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2007 2:50 AM CST
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. and Senate Democrats reluctantly agreed to block unexpected tax increases for millions of Americans - without replacing the shortfall in revenue. (AP Photo/Caleb...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The Senate has voted overwhelmingly to shield 23 million Americans from tax increases imposed by the alternative minimum tax—without replacing $50 billion in lost revenue. The vote to extend protection from the tax represents a retreat for Democrats who had pledged to meet the shortfall with spending cuts or by closing some tax breaks, reports the New York Times.

“We’ve tried every alternative possible to do this,” said Senate majority leader Harry Reid. The law was created in 1969 to stop a small number of very wealthy taxpayers from using numerous deductions to avoid paying most of their income tax. But it wasn't tied to inflation; without the protection, the law would now affect millions of middle-class Americans.