New life for the estate tax. Plus: the recession, political posturing in Washington state, health care for kids, unemployment and revenue projections

January 12, 2009 | Alex Stone

Obama Plans to Keep Estate Tax: President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders plan to move soon to block the estate tax from disappearing in 2010, suggesting the levy might outlive the “Death Tax Repeal” movement that has tried mightily to kill it.

Krugman: Right diagnosis; anemic prescription: “I don’t believe it’s too late to change course, but it will be if we don’t take dramatic action as soon as possible. If nothing is done, this recession could linger for years.”

Dems in control but not in sync as Legislature opens: During her first four years in office, Gov. Chris Gregoire could count on Democratic lawmakers and their supporters to rally behind her budget plans. No longer. Gregoire has proposed billions in budget cuts that are getting a cool reception among some of her staunchest supporters.

Insuring children’s health now builds momentum for universal coverage: How often did President-elect Obama promise to “turn the page,” implying that his presidency would be very different from George W. Bush’s while also taking lessons from Bill Clinton’s shortcomings? Winning a quick health-care victory for children would prove he’s determined to do both.

Toughest job is finding one: With the nation’s unemployment rate last month skyrocketing to 7.2 percent, coupled with a record number of new unemployment claims made in Washington state during the same time frame, the job news is exceedingly bleak.

Washington state tax collections sink 9.4%: Taxes collected for Washington state’s general fund were $97.5 million lower than expected during the four-week period that ends Jan. 10, the state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council said late Friday. The collection period included part of the holiday shopping season.

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Posted in State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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