Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Congress Avoids Fiscal Cliff By Raising Taxes Without Cutting Spending

Benjamin Franklin said, "The only things certain in life are death and taxes." True to form, members of Congress are passing tax increases without any spending cuts to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff of its own making that supposedly spares most Americans while raising tax rates on the most affluent, defined by this tax measure as individuals earning more than $400,000 or couples making more than $450,000. Their tax rates will jump to 39.6%. Estate tax rates are being hiked from 35% to 40%. All Americans will see their taxes increased 2% because the payroll tax cut enacted in 2010 was allowed to lapse; however, thanks to an executive order issued by President Barack Obama  all federal employees will receive a pay raise. The scheduled increase in pay for members of Congress has been rescinded. Unemployment benefits have been extended from six months to one year once again since it's nearly impossible for the unemployed to find a job in the Obama economy, and expiring dairy subsidies that could have led to a doubling in milk prices have been given additional life. Across-the-board budget cuts of $110 billion in domestic and military spending that would have occurred automatically under a previous law passed by Congress was suspended to give the new Congress two additional months to debate. The Senate approved the measure 89-8 in the early morning hour, and the House is expected to vote on it later day.

UPDATE: The House of Representatives voted 257-167 to pass the Senate-approved fiscal cliff deal. Democrats provided the majority of the votes for passage with 172 votes compared to 85 votes provided by Republican members. Reps. Andre Carson and Joe Donnelly were the only two Hoosier House members to vote in favor of the bill's passage. Rep. Dan Burton, who is retiring, didn't bother to show up for the final vote.

1 comment:

Downtown Indy said...

Not 'avoids', merely 'postpones'. (While making the cliff even higher)