In a Bloomberg interview to air Friday evening at 7 p.m., both Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) and Sen. Kent Conrad (D., N.D.) said they believe the proposed tax package will be enacted, but disagreed about what the final package may look like.
Ryan said he didn’t think the current tax proposal will be changed, despite House Democrats “throwing a fit” over the deal. Conrad, however, said he expects a number of changes to be made, particularly concerning the estate tax. The current proposal sets the rate at 35 percent, but most Democrats think that figure is too low.
“Frankly, we just can’t afford that kind of giveaway to the very wealthiest among us,” Conrad said. Ryan countered by calling the estate tax a “killer” for family businesses. “We’re not talking about, you know, Bill Gates here,” he said. “We’re talking about successful family businesses and farms…This is not right.”
Ryan said there’s a lot in the deal he doesn’t like, but argued that it was “the best we’re going to get” and, of course, far better than letting all the Bush tax rates expire, which would be unthinkable given the state of the economy. “A deal is a deal,” he said. “We have an agreement. And that ought to be honored, and it should pass soon, so we don’t create this volatility in the economy.”