From Tax Vox:
When the President signs the big tax deal later today, will he be cutting income taxes for most families or sparing them a tax hike? Will he be slashing the estate tax or resurrecting it?HT: Economix
Those questions have a clear answer in the official budget world: the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 cuts both income taxes and estate taxes. Period. Why? Because current law is the official yardstick. And that law says that the 2001 and 2003 income and estate tax cuts will expire when the ball hits bottom in Times Square....
...Which brings us to Johnny Depp. Depp plays the title character in the new film “The Tourist”. He doesn’t know anything about budget baselines, but he does learn how perceptions depend on what your benchmark is:
Inspector: Now, you wish to report a murder?
Depp: No, some people tried to kill me.
Inspector: I was told you were reporting a murder.
Depp: Attempted murder.
Inspector: Ah, that is not so serious.
Depp: No, not when you downgrade it from murder. When you upgrade it from room service, it’s quite serious.