Some Greek news service of all places has a Dow Jones report from the press conference after the meeting of the President and Congressional leaders. Senator Kyl, who will represent the Senate Republicans in the talks with Democratic congressional leaders and the Treasury and Budget Secretaries, is quoted as stating the following:
Kyl said there was a range of issues that have to be addressed including a renewal of the estate tax, a longer-term fix for the Alternative Minimum Tax and payments to ensure that doctors who treat Medicare patients don’t see steep cuts in compensation.
ABC News reports Senator Kyl actually brought up the estate tax issue in the meeting. However, the report did not say if anyone else in the room had any reaction, good or bad.
Hence, all of a sudden we have a shift in the odds. This development certainly increases the odds they will address the estate tax as part of a settlement. I have not had time to really think it through and so am not prepared to give my opinion on the odds now.
However, I can say one thing: I have learned from years of negotiating for clients that if my client has determined they want to settle and not fight, they will fare very badly in the negotiations. When it comes down to conceding on an issue or walking away and going to court to fight, they will concede. It presently appears from what I can glean from the news reports the President has said they will negotiate to reach a settlement. The Republicans would apparently actually prefer to not solve anything until the new Congress arrives, next year. Therefore, I conclude the President and the Democrats will fare very badly and the Republicans will triumph by the time the dust settles.
By Kevin Staker