Late-night deal averts fiscal cliff
Just as it seemed Congress would close up shop for the year with no deal in place, the Senate reaches an interim agreement.
Updated at 9 a.m. ET Tuesday
The Senate moved the U.S. economy back from the edge of the fiscal cliff early Tuesday morning, voting to avoid imminent tax hikes and spending cuts. But the bipartisan deal could still face stiff challenges in the House of Representatives.
As the hours ticked by on Monday, the last day of 2012, Congressional negotiators still hadn't found a solution to avoid $600 billion in tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in on Jan. 1. While a deal in the Senate appeared close, the House of Representatives took a break for the holiday with no vote in sight.
The good thing is that the tax part of this mess should be over with soon. For legislators, it now becomes almost easy. Even if the apparent Senate deal doesn't go through, tax rates will go up, and so lawmakers now can come to the rescue when they vote to extend the Bush tax cuts.
The main question is what the nation's wealthy individuals will get taxed at. And judging from news reports, it looks like the marginal income tax rates will rise to 39.6% for individuals making more than $400,000 a year and households making more than $450,000 annually.
Unemployment benefits are likely to get extended for a year and middle-class tax cuts could get continued for five years, Politico reports. The estate tax rates for high-value properties are set to increase.
Once the tax question is settled, then there's the issue of $109 billion in automatic cuts that will hit military and discretionary spending. That's the part holding up negotiations now, and that will likely take weeks to settle out.
And so ends a Congressional session we'd all like to forget. The Huffington Post reports that the 112th Congress is the most unproductive session since the 1940s. President Obama signed only 219 bills passed by this Congress. That's down from 383 bills passed by Congress last year and 460 bills the year before.
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Another raise for me, Democrats beating up Republicans and Jesus was a Socialist like myself. :-)
I love this Country!
God bless America!
All Chinese labor is virtual slavery anyway, so those labor standards that are suppose to exist are entirely bogus. The best thing we could do for China is send all goods made there back with a note saying that until they treat their ppl like humans and not their government wealth machine, no American will buy their stuff. Remember that the Chinese gvt. owns much of the industrial capacity of the country. That is how they control their people.
At the root of problem is the fact that reelecton concerns trump doing what is good for the country.These peple dont work. They are actually in session a small % of the year, a remaining relic from when they had to travel home by horse drawn carriages. I have no hope that any reform is forthcoming since the people that would have to enact change occupy the cushy offices.
A national and very strong push for term limits is our only hope. Career politicians have ruined our country. The prevailing atmosphere where lying and deceiving are the norm seems to be escalating. They get away with it because so many people get some form of giveaways and wont take any action that threatens their loot and a lot dont pay any attention at all.
Our president had the nerve to state in an interview yesterday that he had reduced spending by a trillion/yr. His own treasury annual reports states an increase of $1 trillion yr. There was no public outrage. That is the state of where we are. I am not picking on my president, all the politicians do this kind of deception knowing at worse people dismiss it as typical.
We the people need to get a sense of active citizenshp and start throwing these people out of office and start electing real patriots to office, not the career status seeking parasites that make up the bulk of Washington office holders we have now.
It wont be easy or quick. Term limits first, ban pork next so they cant buy votes with $ sent home, incrementally get rid of ALL subsidies, reform the tax code limiting deductions and ininitiating incentives for business, roll back regulations: There are 26,000 words in a regulation outlining how to regulate the price of cabbage, one 28 page section of the 2800 page Obamacare bill that has generated 13,000 pages of guidelenes.
If we dont get aggressive as citizens and work together, dems, repubs, independents, rich, poor, takers, slackers, we are doomed and what the takers dont yet realize is their source of funding is drying up so they do have a stake in a healthy economy and sending responsible peope to Washington.
But you can't fool me. I am not a sheep.
More FAILED Leadership from Obama.
He's a Lazy, Stubborn, Arrogant, Corrupt (even by Chicago standards) Imbecile! We re-elected him so I guess America wanted to go over the cliff. We ALL wanted higher taxes, More government, More regulations, less Jobs, less opportunity and Less Prospserity.
If we were as disfunctional at our jobs as they are we would all be fired by now.
Let's vote all of them out of office and clean house.
I have always been a Republican, always voted Republican. That is now going to change. What has happened with the Congress is an embarassment to us as Americans. We need to send these self-serving idiots a strong message and vote every one of them out of office. Every voter should vote for anyone other than the incumbent. What a bunch of selfish buffoons. VOTE EM OUT!!!!!!!!!!
The teabaggers getting in was the big mistake. Born of ignorance and simple-mindedness with a hankering for anarchy, they can only make things worse.
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