why am I not surprised?
Federal legislation that would afford trial lawyers a special tax break faces an uncertain future, says one of the chief lobbyists for the nation's trial lawyers.
The proposal would allow attorneys to deduct fees and expenses up-front for filing contingency-fee lawsuits. The proposal amounts to about a $1.6 billion tax break for plaintiffs' attorneys, estimates indicate.
"Everyone wants to do it, but the problem is there is not a tax vehicle yet," said Linda Lipsen, American Association for Justice (AAJ) Senior Vice President of Public Affairs.
Let's see, lots of lawyers in Congress, trial lawyers give lots of money to politicians... what could go wrong?
"You cannot have a stand alone bill to help lawyers … so we have to tuck it into something," she said.
Translation: "We need to hide this so people don't see it until too late."
Another challenge facing the legislation is its cost, Lipsen acknowledged, noting that Congressional rules require that any tax break be paid for by new revenues.
"The problem for us, unfortunately, is there is no money," she said. "It costs a couple billion… so we're going to have to find what they call a 'pay-for' so that we can make it budget neutral and get it passed. This is going to be tough because there is no money."
Even so, she said senior congressional officials want to press forward with the legislation.
Anybody have any doubts that these clowns in Congress will amazingly 'find' enough of our money to pay the trial lawyers off if they're allowed to?
And who are the "Let's do it!" clowns in Congress?
Legal Newswire notes that this tax break for ambulance chasers “has the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Ways and Means Chairman Charles Rangel, D-N.Y.,” all of whom are eager to raise taxes of non-trial-lawyers.
In fairness, we should note that not only Democrats are behind this: The free-market Washington Legal Foundation reports that Senate co-sponsors include Republicans Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Mike Crapo of Idaho and Mel Martinez of Florida, all lawyers. The chief sponsor is Pennsylvania’s Arlen Specter, another lawyer, who belongs to whichever party is convenient.
A wonderful group, huh? A group which, if they all took a long dive in a shallow well, wouldn't be missed except by the people who've been buying influence with them all these years.