Losers Maintain Loophole

Congressional Democrats are like Oakland Raiders-era Randy Moss: Unwilling to go over the middle, for fear of getting hit. I had hoped that they’d morph into Patriots-era Randy Moss on this carried interest issue, but it seems that they didn’t have the same flexibility of character.

The Senate yesterday approved a temporary fix to the alternative minimum tax (AMT) mess, but without language that would have changed the tax treatment of carried interest from capital gains to ordinary income. The vote wasn’t close (88-5), with the House expected to follow suit.

Apologists will cite pragmatism, as the tax change wasn’t worth enough real dollars to risk a GOP filibuster or presidential veto. But that’s like arguing that Moss might have gotten hurt going over the middle – no risk, no reward. There was a very real opportunity here to inject some basic fairness into the tax code (an oxymoron, I know), and the Democrats willingly kicked the can down the road until they (hope to) have both Congress and the White House. Just pathetic.