The Chatter: McConnell wants to kill the death tax; More headlines for Paul; Ky. scores in settlement

06/19/2013 07:37 PM

(CORRECTED) It’s not enough to temporarily suspend the estate tax, it should be buried for good, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell announced Wednesday.

McConnell and South Dakota Republican Sen. John Thune filed legislation to permanently abolish the federal tax on inheritances. And it would eliminate the tax on gifts up to $5 million and codify a 35 percent tax rate on gifts and inheritances beyond that amount but indexed to inflation.

“The death tax unduly burdens American families by taxing assets that are handed down from generation to generation, like family farms or small family businesses,” McConnell said in a statement. “It is the federal government’s final insult to tax the transfer of your accumulated assets when you have already paid taxes on such assets throughout your life.”

Paul blasts IRS, loses immigration amendment fight and gets a Post profile

It was anther day in which U.S. Sen. Rand Paul made headlines on multiple fronts.

One of his amendments to the immigration reform bill being debate in the Senate failed by a vote of 37-61. The amendment would have required Congress to sign off on the security of the southern border with Mexico.

“With “Trust but Verify”, Congress will vote every year, for five years, on whether or not the border is secure. The power to enforce border security will be in our hands, and it is Congress that will be held accountable if we fail,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post profiled Kentucky’s junior senator suggesting that either Paul is becoming more mainstream or mainstream America is gravitating more toward him.

Part of his new relevance comes from the sudden prominence of a set of issues where Paul has been a somewhat lonely voice in the Republican Party. There is fresh attention to privacy, amid revelations about the government’s aggressive surveillance programs; renewed mistrust of the Internal Revenue Service, in the wake of its admissions of improperly targeting conservative groups for scrutiny; and heightened anxiety about foreign entanglement, as the prospect of deeper military involvement in Syria looms.

But Paul also kept to his tea party roots Wednesday, appearing at a rally protesting the IRS targeting of tea party-related groups.

He started his remarks by asking if anybody wants “to fire some IRS agents,” as Louisville’s WDRB reported .

Kentucky hits jackpot in lawsuit settlement against online gaming sites

Kentucky’s state government scored a more than $6 million settlement with online gaming sites — the result of a lawsuit Gov. Steve Beshear and the U.S. Attorneys from the Southern District of New York and of Maryland brought in 2008.

The suit targeted 141 sites for operating unregulated gaming activities in the commonwealth. Online gaming companies PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are no longer operating sites in Kentucky as a result.

“Unlicensed and unauthorized internet gambling has been substantially curtailed in Kentucky, and we’ve created a framework for the rest of the country to manage the issue in their own jurisdictions,” Beshear said in a statement.

The $6,075,000 Kentucky will receive in the settlement will go into the general fund.

_(CORRECTION: This article initially incorrectly described part of McConnell’s death tax proposal. The $5 million cap only affects gifts.) _

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