Chalk it up to the new centrism -- or perhaps it's because some issues are so irksome, Republicans and Democrats must agree that a solution is needed. Whatever the case, two House members joined "Power Lunch" to sound the alarm over the alternative minimum tax (AMT) -- and the 20-month deadline to fix it.
The AMT was devised in 1969 to level the revenue playing field, by ensuring that those in the loftier tax brackets still paid their fare share. But the tax was never indexed for inflation, so many of those whose income is numerically greater -- but not higher in real dollars -- get caught in the drift-net. CNBC's Bill Griffeth reports that in the first year the AMT was enacted, a mere 19,000 Americans paid it; in 2008, some 25 million Yanks are expected to be covered by it.