Tax Cuts: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Plow through the 575-odd pages of tax provisions in the stimulus bill signed this week by President Obama, and Cosmo's declaration will keep coming back to you.

In the 1987 movie Moonstruck, when Loretta Castorini shows her father the engagement ring she has just received, Cosmo Castorini disparages the bauble: He can see that it's her fiance's pinky ring, given to her in haste because the guy forgot to buy the real thing. "It's temporary!" Loretta yells at her father. "Everything is temporary!" Cosmo thunders back.

Plow through the 575-odd pages of tax provisions in the stimulus bill signed this week by President Obama, and Cosmo's declaration will keep coming back to you. What Congress giveth in the way of tax breaks, Congress also taketh away, in most cases in just a year or two, or even less.

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Senior Tax Editor, the Kiplinger letters