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Old Dec 31, 2012, 08:13 PM   #1
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Obama, Republicans reach deal on fiscal cliff; Senate vote expected tonight

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President Obama and Senate Republicans reached a sweeping deal late Monday that would let income taxes rise significantly for the first time in more than two decades, fulfilling Obama’s promise to raise taxes on the rich and averting the worst effects of the “fiscal cliff.”

Vice President Biden arrived at the Capitol just after 9 p.m. to explain the details of the pact he negotiated with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). A Senate vote on the package could be held by 10:30 p.m., beating a midnight deadline, Democratic aides said. The Republican-controlled House will begin considering the bill on Tuesday, with a final vote expected in the next day or two.

The agreement emerged after White House officials gave in on the last contested issue, yielding to GOP wishes on how to handle estate taxes, aides said.
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Under the proposed accord being hammered out by Biden and McConnell, households earning less than $450,000 would largely escape higher income tax bills, though couples earning more than $300,000 a year and individuals earning more than $250,000 would lose part of the value of their exemptions and itemized deductions, under the terms of the emerging agreement.

Low-income households would also benefit from a five-year extension of credits for college tuition and the working poor first enacted as part of Obama’s stimulus package in 2009. And businesses would see a variety of popular tax breaks extended, including a credit for research and development.

The tax on inherited estates would rise from 35 percent to 40 percent, though Democrats agreed to keep in place the current exemption for estates worth up to $5 million. And nearly 30 million households would be protected from paying the costly alternative minimum tax for the first time — either on their 2012 tax returns or at any time in the future. The developing agreement calls for a permanent fix.

The two sides also appeared to have reached consensus on unemployment benefits, with Republicans acceding to Democratic demands to keep benefits flowing to the long-term unemployed for another year. Medicare payments would not be cut for doctors next year, and the cost of preserving those programs would not be offset with other spending cuts.

However, negotiators were still at odds over how to handle the automatic “sequester” spending cuts, which are set to decimate budgets at the Pentagon and other federal agencies in the New Year. Democrats initially demanded that the cuts be delayed until 2015, but Republicans balked, arguing that the cost of any delay should be covered through additional spending cuts.

Instead of delaying the cuts for two years, at a cost of more than $200 billion, Republicans suggested delaying the sequester for three months — at a cost of $33 billion, according to people close to the talks. It was unclear Monday whether the hang-up was the brevity of the extension or the need to identify offsetting spending cuts.

All told, the proposal would raise roughly $600 billion in new revenue over the next decade from the wealthiest 2 percent of households — less than Obama had been seeking, and less than House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) had offered in negotiations earlier this month. But the new tax revenue was a first step, Democrats said, toward asking the wealthy to do their part in reducing record budget deficits.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...efc_story.html
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 08:44 PM   #2
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Thanks for following this. It's good to hear that they veered from going over the cliff. It's also good to hear that the wealthy have to pay their fair share.

It'll be interesting to see the details tomorrow.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 08:50 PM   #3
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Thanks for following this. It's good to hear that they veered from going over the cliff. It's also good to hear that the wealthy have to pay their fair share.

It'll be interesting to see the details tomorrow.
Assuming this all passes, and it is not a sure thing, they still have to deal with the debt ceiling in 2 months.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:19 PM   #4
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Assuming this all passes, and it is not a sure thing, they still have to deal with the debt ceiling in 2 months.
Still have to deal with the spending cuts too. All this does (assuming it passes) is patch the AMT hole, bump marginal rates on a few folks, and raise some top end rates on estate taxes. They are kicking the can down the road on sequestration and spending cuts to offset the rate bump.

The do-nothing Congress strikes again.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:22 PM   #5
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Assuming this all passes, and it is not a sure thing, they still have to deal with the debt ceiling in 2 months.
Really? Seems nuts not to have stuck a debt ceiling increase in there.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:25 PM   #6
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Really? Seems nuts not to have stuck a debt ceiling increase in there.
The whole reason for the "fiscal cliff" was to cut spending and raise taxes.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:26 PM   #7
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This is what I expected and when the details come out few on either side will that happy. If the final votes don't come in to make it all a reality tonight, they will fine tune it all in January before too much damage can be done.

It sounds like a big deal but it's business as usual over there in DC and if there are reasons for this type of drama and delay it won't be stuff most of us would understand.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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I still have my doubts that this will be able to get enough votes in the House.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:34 PM   #9
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I still have my doubts that this will be able to get enough votes in the House.
It may not first time in the House and an ABC analyst I was listening to said those fine tuning tweaks, probably in favor of the GOP, will be made early in 2013 to finalize everything.

By the time these post-New Years adjustments are made and the democrats and GOP come to some understanding, the whole fiscal cliff issue will be so far out of the news most won't care.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 09:52 PM   #10
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The whole reason for the "fiscal cliff" was to cut spending and raise taxes.
I'm not sure reason comes into it at all really.
There isn't going to be anything significant different in 2 months. Fiscally anyway.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:08 PM   #11
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tl;dr version:

Republicans: "We don't want to have taxes raised!"

Democrats: "We want them raised infinity percent!"

Republicans: "No!"

Democrats: "How 'bout we only raise income taxes on people making over 450K a year and only raise the estate tax by 5%?! Of course we'll let payroll tax cuts expire and any estate valued under 5 million will be exempt from the estate tax."

Republicans: "Genius! What about spending cuts?"

Democrats: "Oh that, re-evaluate in 2 years?"

Republicans: "Make it 3 months and you got a deal!"

Democrats: "Deal."

Republicans: "Deal."

And that good sirs is how nothing gets done in congress. As a nation we are hemorrhaging money, we essentially put a small bandage on a slit jugular and promised to look at it later. Furthermore I bet when we do look at it again we put a similar tiny bandage on it and promise to look at it again. If you keep ignoring a wound and do not adequately treat it do you know what happens? You wake up one morning only to realize your dead...
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 03:23 AM   #12
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All of this none sense raises $600B over TEN YEARS, which is patently ABSURD in Washington, and DOES NOTHING whatsoever.

Political posturing and chest beating.

No solutions to any of the current problems.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 03:41 AM   #13
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$60 billion a year is nothing to sniff at, it's 6% of the deficit.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 03:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by chris200x9 View Post
Democrats: "We want them raised infinity percent!"
Taxes were at infinity percent under Clinton?
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:08 AM   #15
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$60 billion a year is nothing to sniff at, it's 6% of the deficit.
Nothing to sniff at? Ha ha ha.

Less than sales tax in many areas.

At this rate, the deficit will be reduced, um, never...... Lets not even start in about the debt.

We need to cut spending or increase taxes by MORE than $1.3 TRILLION a year.

Anything less is political posturing.

In what universe does this make sense?
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:20 AM   #16
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To be fair the deficit has already been cut substantially thanks to increased growth - that's key.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 04:57 AM   #17
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All of this none sense raises $600B over TEN YEARS, which is patently ABSURD in Washington, and DOES NOTHING whatsoever.

Political posturing and chest beating.

No solutions to any of the current problems.
Ah- so doing nothing is best? Typical, since you Reagan Republicans got us into this mess in the first place.

And yes, I blame you- our elders. People like you, witt, presided over this disaster in the 80's and now you don't seem to care.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 05:28 AM   #18
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Ah- so doing nothing is best? Typical, since you Reagan Republicans got us into this mess in the first place.

And yes, I blame you- our elders. People like you, witt, presided over this disaster in the 80's and now you don't seem to care.
It's not so much they don't care as it is they're dead set on repeating the same mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place. It's like they're expecting magically different results from the same tired actions.

That seems to be the modus operandi of the Republican party. While I can't place the current blames of society solely on their shoulders, they practically had 8 years to do things exactly how they wanted with only token, mealy mouthed opposition from the Democrats. And what did it do for us? Did cutting extraneous government spending lower the deficit? Did bolstering the military lead us back to WWII levels of economic productivity? Did deregulation oil the gears of trade? Did trickle down trickle down? No. It made things considerably worse.

...so why is doing the exact same thing that created so many problems for us not even 6 years ago going to suddenly work now?
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 07:16 AM   #19
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It's not so much they don't care as it is they're dead set on repeating the same mistakes that got us into this mess in the first place. It's like they're expecting magically different results from the same tired actions.

That seems to be the modus operandi of the Republican party. While I can't place the current blames of society solely on their shoulders, they practically had 8 years to do things exactly how they wanted with only token, mealy mouthed opposition from the Democrats. And what did it do for us? Did cutting extraneous government spending lower the deficit? Did bolstering the military lead us back to WWII levels of economic productivity? Did deregulation oil the gears of trade? Did trickle down trickle down? No. It made things considerably worse.

...so why is doing the exact same thing that created so many problems for us not even 6 years ago going to suddenly work now?
I agree to a certain extent. I think there's a balance there for sure. Take the Clinton years for example. While Clinton's legacy undoubtedly benefited from the tech bubble, many non-Rs like to point to the his presidency as the model for how we need to operate in terms of taxation. What nobody seems to want to do is the hard work to get to the levels of spending we saw under his watch so that we can move towards a balanced budget.

Raising an extra $60B a year is nice, but its a drop in the bucket in terms of our gluttonous spending habit.

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Old Jan 1, 2013, 07:23 AM   #20
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I don't see how this turd passes the house. Hell, it will be lucky to even get a vote.

No way Republicans sign off on a "deal" that raises taxes, spends more and cuts NO spending. Can't wait to see the amendments the Republicans try and add on.

Congress should be sued for dereliction of duty.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 07:45 AM   #21
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Ah- so doing nothing is best? Typical, since you Reagan Republicans got us into this mess in the first place.

And yes, I blame you- our elders. People like you, witt, presided over this disaster in the 80's and now you don't seem to care.
Blame anyone you want, the fact is this bs legislation does absolutely nothing to address the so-called fiscal cliff, and we are fast approaching an honest to goodness depression.

It's up to the current administration and congress to take the steps necessary to fix the problem, and this fixes nothing.

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To be fair the deficit has already been cut substantially thanks to increased growth - that's key.
You are completely out of touch with reality. The deficit is well over $1T a year and this piddly $600B ten year plan results in less than $20B in the first year - it's all loaded on the back end, which means it will be completely irrelevent in 3 years anyway.

It's a disgrace and a sham and we should remove the lot of them - both parties - for trying to BS the people into believing that this is even a partial fix.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 07:47 AM   #22
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I don't see how this turd passes the house. Hell, it will be lucky to even get a vote.

No way Republicans sign off on a "deal" that raises taxes, spends more and cuts NO spending. Can't wait to see the amendments the Republicans try and add on.

Congress should be sued for dereliction of duty.
I think the house republicans will take the blame if they don't pass this.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 07:51 AM   #23
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Now they are free to tackle the spending cuts!!
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 08:01 AM   #24
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I don't see how this turd passes the house. Hell, it will be lucky to even get a vote.

No way Republicans sign off on a "deal" that raises taxes, spends more and cuts NO spending. Can't wait to see the amendments the Republicans try and add on.

Congress should be sued for dereliction of duty.
They pretty much have no choice at this point. The rich have been successfully vilified in this country and any attempt to not pass it will open the Rs up to being painted as trying to keep the poor down.

It probably won't be the same wide spread it was in the senate, but I'm sure this pathetic "compromise" will pass.
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Old Jan 1, 2013, 09:26 AM   #25
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I'm truly shocked that the Senate deal passed 89-8...... I was expecting 61-39 like almost every hot topic bill seems to pass with these days.
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