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Old 07-20-2012, 10:41 AM  
Direckshun Direckshun is online now
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The Fiscal Cliff Approacheth

In an effort to make this thread sticky-worthy, I am going to update this OP to keep casual glancers informed.

This post is the official one-stop shopping of the key points/developments of the fiscal cliff negotiations.

Far as I understand, the fiscal cliff:

1. Gets rid of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
2. Gets rid of the Bush tax cuts for everybody else.
3. Slashes defense spending by something like $500 billion.
4. Slashes domestic programs like the NIH, Head Start, and medicine/drug care for the poor by $500 billion.

The new idea is for Democrats to allow the cliff to hit, then immediately introduce a bill that would bring 2, 4, and some of 3 back. But not 1.

Here is a chart detailing exactly what the fiscal cliff is going to do, financially:

Spoiler!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
New CBO projection: if the fiscal cliff hits, we are in another recession, and lose two million jobs.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/...87L0JV20120822
The poor would be hurt by the fiscal cliff:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Overall, if the tax breaks from the 2009 stimulus are allowed to expire—the EITC and Child Tax Credit expansions, along with American Opportunity Credit for college tuition—the poorest 20 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up by $209 on average, reducing their after-tax income by 1.9 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center.
As would the middle class:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
According to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, more than half of all married couples will owe an additional tax of around $4,000 unless Congress acts. And more than a third of families with children will fall subject to the AMT, with parents of three or more children facing an extra tax of $4,700.

Among married couples with at least two children and adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000, the center estimates that 84 percent will face a significantly higher tax bill this year because of the AMT.
There seems to be some consensus between the parties that substantial revenues want to be raised. Boehner and the GOP hopes that's through limiting tax deductions rather than tax raises.

Obama's opening offer, essentially:

Quote:
  • Allow the Bush tax cuts on high earners to expire. $849 billion
  • Limit itemized deductions to 28 percent, close some loopholes and deductions on high earners, eliminate tax breaks for oil and gas companies, eliminate the carried interest loophole, plus a few other items. $584 billion
  • Create a special "Buffett Rule" tax rate for millionaires. $47 billion
  • Restore the estate tax to 2009 levels. $143 billion
  • Limit corporate income shifting to low-tax countries. $148 billion
  • Other miscellaneous tax increases and reductions. About -$200 billion
  • Total: $1.6 trillion

Last edited by Direckshun; 11-14-2012 at 09:54 AM..
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:52 AM   #91
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This and he will regardless if he wins the election or not. If the Republicans want to drive the American economy over a cliff so the top 1% can keep their Bush era tax cuts, then thats what will happen,
It is equally accurate to say that If the Democrats want to drive the American economy over a cliff because they want to play politics and class warfare and pretend to punish the rich to distract the intellectually dishonest from the fact that raising taxes does not help the economy then that’s what will happen. By the most ridiculously optimistic outcome if the projected increase in taxes collected were not only accurate but they got double that amount it would still not cover the amount we are spending.

If the United States Government were a person and they wished to buy a $50,000 house, they don’t have a good enough debt/expense ratio to qualify for a Government loan.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #92
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If Obama loses, I don't think he goes through with the veto. It would forever brand him as a liberal partisan, and it would make him look like he was trying to sabotage Romney's first term as President.

I suppose it is possible for Obama to not take the high road on his way out of office, but one would hope he would have more respect for the Presidency and the nation than that.
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:32 AM   #93
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Jonathan Chait has a fascinating take: that the fiscal cliff can set up extremely manageable negotiations while slaughtering the deficit.

Hmmmm..

http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2012/10...cal-cliff.html

Bank CEOs Fear the Fiscal Cliff They Apparently Don’t Understand
By Jonathan Chait
10/19/12 at 4:58 PM

My story in the magazine about Mitt Romney and Barack Obama’s economic policy plans explains how the “fiscal cliff” has entered the broader political lexicon in a way that badly distorts everybody’s thinking, and is often invoked to mean the exact opposite of what it really is. The fiscal cliff doesn’t refer to the deficit spiking, it refers to the deficit going away really, really fast, beginning on January 1.

Republicans hate the fiscal cliff because it eliminates the deficit in ways they hate — mostly by ending all of the Bush tax cuts, along with some spending cuts that take a huge bite out of the Pentagon. But another group also hates the fiscal cliff for different reasons. The centrist anti-deficit groups funded by Pete Peterson hate the fiscal cliff because it creates an avenue for bringing revenue and outlays in line in a way that they don’t want. It basically creates a situation where the deficit is solved in ways that are more left-wing than even Obama proposes, giving him leverage to craft a solution largely along his own preferred lines, rather than through the “grand bargain” they have been fruitlessly trying to craft since 2010. And so they are issuing dire warnings about the fiscal cliff that are either completely disingenuous or reveal a total failure to understand what they’re complaining about.

So, for instance, a group of financial executives, including JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, warns in a letter, “interest rates could spike significantly if policymakers do not agree to stop the series of automatic tax hikes and spending cuts and replace them with a long-term plan to tame the federal debt.” Uh, no, that is not how it works. Interest rates can spike when the deficit gets too high. The fiscal cliff involves the deficit getting very low very quickly. The problem is that it’s too quickly, and if it stays that way for months and months on end, it could throw the economy back into recession. But interest rates would remain very low in that case.

This sets up an interesting game of chicken. Republicans are hoping to use the fear of these economic consequences to force Obama to come to heel and extend the Bush tax cuts before January. Obama says he won’t do that. And if he doesn’t do that, we get to January, the deficit disappears, and it becomes very easy for the two sides to make some accommodation. (Obama could agree to cut tax rates, cut entitlement spending, and raise defense spending, and still wind up to the left of his own proposal.)

The Peterson network appears determined to avoid that outcome. Dimon, a supporter of the Peterson backed “Fix the Debt,” argues, “Just take the fiscal cliff off the table. Some of the potential outcomes are very bad, and we shouldn’t take that chance.”

But, of course, if the fiscal cliff is off the table, then Republicans have no incentive to cut a deal. Then we’re back to the same position we’ve been in: deficit scolds pleading with both sides to make a deal; the deal failing because Republicans care more about low taxes for the rich than anything else; and then the fiscal scolds blaming both sides for failing to make a deal.

If they actually wanted a deal to reduce the deficit, they would want to put everything off until January. Instead they’re saying a bunch of stuff that makes no sense. So either they just have no idea what is going on with the issue they’re claiming to care about more than anything else in the world, or they’re trying to give Republican anti-tax jihadists the leverage they will lose if Obama wins reelection.
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Old 10-29-2012, 05:46 PM   #94
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...rss_ezra-klein

How the fiscal cliff affects the poorest Americans
Posted by Suzy Khimm
on October 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm

The fiscal cliff hits the richest Americans harder than the poorest ones: If all of the tax changes happen on Dec. 31, the top 20 percent of Americans would see their effective tax rate rise about 5.8 percentage points on average, while the bottom 20 percent of Americans would see their tax rate rise about 3.7 percentage points, according to the Tax Policy Center That’s largely because of the Bush tax cuts to income, capital gains and the estate tax. But certain parts of the fiscal cliff have would have a much bigger impact on poor Americans than rich ones.

Both the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit were expanded under Obama’s 2009 stimulus to help lower-income Americans—and despite being scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, these extensions have seen less attention than other elements of the fiscal cliff.

The EITC was originally created to encourage poor Americans to work, and it’s been found to prove especially effective in increasing the employment of single mothers and decreasing welfare rolls. The 2009 stimulus raised the threshold of the credit phaseout from $3,000 to $5,000 and increased the wage subsidy from 40 percent to 45 percent for families with three or more children.

The Child Tax Credit was also expanded in 2009, building upon 2001 changes that doubled the tax credit to be as high as $1,000 per child under 17. Under the stimulus, if a family was eligible for a credit that was bigger than the taxes they owed, they received part of the balance for earnings above $3,000. (The threshold was previously $12,550.) As with the EITC, there’s a lot of research linking the Child Tax Credit to higher achievement and lower poverty rates.

While the 2001 changes overwhelmingly helped middle-income families, the 2009 expansion was targeted to help the bottom 20 percent of Americans, as the Tax Policy Center’s Elaine Maag explains in this chart:



Overall, if the tax breaks from the 2009 stimulus are allowed to expire—the EITC and Child Tax Credit expansions, along with American Opportunity Credit for college tuition—the poorest 20 percent of Americans would see their taxes go up by $209 on average, reducing their after-tax income by 1.9 percent, according to the Tax Policy Center. The top 40 percent of Americans, by contrast, would see see a mere 0.1 percent drop in after-tax income. And advocates for the poor are now worried that these provisions will fall by the wayside during the fight over the Bush tax cuts and their impact on the richest Americans.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:04 PM
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #95
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/busine...4_story_1.html

Middle class faces quick impact from fiscal cliff in form of alternative minimum tax
By Lori Montgomery
Nov 05, 2012 02:00 AM EST

The best hope for a deal to avoid the “fiscal cliff” may lie with the alternative minimum tax, an obscure provision of the tax code that is about to become alarmingly relevant to millions of middle-class taxpayers.

Unless Congress acts by the end of the year, more than 26 million households will for the first time face the AMT, which threatens to tack $3,700, on average, onto taxpayers’ bills for the current tax year. Because those people have never paid the AMT, they have no idea they are in its crosshairs — put there by a broader stalemate over tax policy that has kept Congress from limiting the AMT’s reach.

Forget about the much-publicized tax hikes set to take effect for 2013 — if you have a couple of children and annual income over $75,000, chances are good that your taxes are on track to go up substantially for 2012.

Residents of high-cost urban areas, including Washington, would be hit hardest, with about 2 million households in Maryland, Virginia and the District in line to face the AMT for the first time, by official estimates.

Unlike most tax increases in the fiscal cliff, including the expiration of the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts, the AMT bill would come due almost immediately. And tax experts say it would be extremely disruptive to try to fix the AMT after the 2012 tax year closes Dec. 31.

Officials with the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department declined to comment on the impact of adjusting the AMT after December. But congressional tax aides said the IRS has advised Congress that trying to fix the AMT after the filing season begins in January would lead to processing delays of more than two months for nearly half of all returns — significantly postponing the delivery of refunds.

“That would be a disaster, an unmitigated disaster for the taxpayers of the United States. It’s just not possible to do that,” said Nina Olson, national taxpayer advocate at the IRS. Olson noted that many people count on their *refunds, which average around $3,000, to cover immediate needs. For example, she said, many utilities do not do shut-offs for nonpayment in January and February, because they know people will use their tax refunds to get caught up on their heating bills.

Lobbyists and aides in both parties say it is hard to imagine Congress letting the new year arrive without legislation to restrict the AMT. Optimists say the need to fix the problem could force Republicans and Democrats to come together on a plan to address the fiscal cliff, which comprises $500 billion in tax hikes and automatic spending cuts set to take effect in January, potentially snuffing out the country’s economic recovery.

The alternative minimum tax was created in 1969 to prevent the super-rich from using credits, deductions and other shelters to avoid taxes altogether. In simple terms, it’s a flat tax with two brackets, 26 percent and 28 percent. Breaks for dependents, medical expenses, and state and local taxes are all disallowed. Instead, taxpayers get a single big deduction, called the AMT exemption, which usually rises with inflation. Taxpayers who owe more under AMT rules than under normal tax rules must pay the higher amount.

Over the decades, the AMT has ceased to affect the extremely rich, because their tax bills are higher than the AMT rates. Instead, the inflation-adjusted AMT has come to target 4 million to 5 million taxpayers with annual incomes between $200,000 and $1 million.

This year, however, a gridlocked Congress has failed to approve the inflation “patch” that prevents millions of people from falling into the AMT’s grasp. The last patch expired in December. If a new one is not enacted, the AMT will hit 31 million taxpayers this year, reaching deeply into the middle class.

In the District and Maryland, where about 6 percent of taxpayers have become accustomed to paying the AMT, the figure would jump to 41 percent in D.C. and 38 percent in Maryland, according to official estimates. In Virginia, where 4 percent of taxpayers have routinely paid the AMT, the figure would increase to 28 percent.

Residents in other high-cost areas would also get socked. In New Jersey, for instance, where people are still digging out from Hurricane Sandy, taxpayers would face a fresh burst of bad news when they break out the TurboTax early next year. More than half of all Garden State households would owe unexpectedly large tax bills, the highest percentage in the country.

Nationwide, nearly one in five taxpayers is in line to pay the AMT. And while the levy is causing bipartisan nightmares, urban states — which tend to lean Democratic — are by far the most vulnerable.

That poses a challenge for Democrats planning to use the fiscal cliff as leverage to force Republicans to raise taxes on the wealthy to help reduce the federal budget deficit. President Obama has threatened to veto legislation that extends the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 3 percent of households, a top GOP priority.

If Obama wins reelection Tuesday and Republicans refuse to give in, Democrats say they are prepared to sail over the cliff and let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone for the 2013 tax year. That would put them in position to press legislation in January to restore the Bush tax cuts — probably in a different form — for taxpayers earning less than $250,000 a year.

But the AMT could throw a wrench into those plans, because there is no easy way to deal with the levy once the cliff is breached.

For the moment, party leaders are blaming each other for not addressing the problem. To Republicans, the AMT is another reason to “extend all the expiring tax policy so we can overhaul the tax code to create jobs, spur economic growth and get rid of the AMT once and for all,” said Antonia Ferrier, spokeswoman for Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (Utah), the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

Democrats, meanwhile, accuse Republicans of holding AMT payers hostage in the pursuit of tax advantages for millionaires. “The fact that Republicans are willing to risk not doing an AMT patch — which has always been bipartisan and relatively noncontroversial — shows to what extreme they’re willing to go to protect the wealthy few,” said Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.).

According to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, more than half of all married couples will owe an additional tax of around $4,000 unless Congress acts. And more than a third of families with children will fall subject to the AMT, with parents of three or more children facing an extra tax of $4,700.

Among married couples with at least two children and adjusted gross income between $75,000 and $100,000, the center estimates that 84 percent will face a significantly higher tax bill this year because of the AMT.

There is also the possibility that some people could face penalties for failing to withhold a sufficient amount throughout the year to cover a tax they did not know they would owe, said Leonard Burman, a tax expert at Syracuse University.

“But politically, it’s inconceivable that Congress would let that happen,” Burman said. “They’re all playing this dangerous game of chicken.”
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #96
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With the House, Senate, and White House staying the same, looks like Wall Street today is factoring in the fiscal cliff.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:00 AM   #97
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:16 AM   #98
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http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012...rns-recession/

Study warns of another recession if 'fiscal cliff' not addressed, Obama re-enters debate
Published November 09, 2012

WASHINGTON – The double-whammy of spending cuts and tax hikes set to take effect in January would send the nation into another recession and drive up the jobless rate to 9.1 percent by next fall, congressional budget analysts said.

The startling new report by the Congressional Budget Office comes as Capitol Hill leaders and President Obama prepare for a lame-duck session of Congress where the so-called "fiscal cliff" will take center stage. Obama planned Friday to offer a framework for talks, speaking from the East Room of the White House in his first post-reelection address from Washington.

A lot is at stake. The new Congressional Budget Office report on Thursday predicted that the economy would fall into recession if there is a protracted impasse in Washington and the government falls off the fiscal cliff for the entire year. The CBO analysis says that the cliff -- a combination of automatic tax increases and spending cuts -- would cut the deficit by $503 billion through next September, but that the fiscal austerity would cause the economy to shrink by 0.5 percent next year and cost millions of jobs.

The potentially economy-crippling set of tax increases and automatic spending cuts is due to hit in January unless congressional leaders can overcome a key impasse. Democrats continue to demand that the Bush-era tax rates lapse for those making $250,000 and up. Republicans continue to insist on keeping tax rates stable for everyone.

House Speaker John Boehner, though, has said he's willing to accept "new revenue" -- perhaps by closing loopholes and other deductions -- as part of overall tax reform in exchange for serious entitlement cuts.

"Raising tax rates is unacceptable," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, declared Thursday on ABC. "Frankly, it couldn't even pass the House. I'm not sure it could pass the Senate."

Boehner has suggested a "bridge" bill to avoid the "cliff" in the short term and allow for a bigger deal in 2013.

Obama faces a tough, core decision: Does he pick a fight and risk a prolonged impasse with Republicans or does he rush to compromise and risk alienating Democrats still celebrating his victory?

Many of his Democratic allies hope Obama will take a hard line when he addresses the matter Friday. Republicans warn that a fight could poison efforts for a rapprochement in a bitterly divided Capitol and threaten his second-term agenda.

Some analysts believe that the fiscal cliff is more like a fiscal slope and that the economy could weather a short-term expiration of the Bush-era tax rate and that the government could manage a wave of automatic spending cuts for a few weeks. But at a minimum, going over the fiscal cliff would mean delays in filing taxes and obtaining refunds and would rattle financial markets as the economy struggles to recover.

The new study estimates that the nation's gross domestic product would grow by 2.2 percent next year if all Bush-era tax rates were extended and would expand by almost 3 percent if Obama's 2 percentage point payroll tax cut and current jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed were extended as well.

All sides say that they want a deal and that now that the election is over everyone can show more flexibility than in the heat of the campaign.

Obama is not expected to offer specifics immediately. His long-held position -- repeatedly rejected by Republicans -- is that tax rates on family income over $250,000 should jump back up to Clinton-era levels.

Republicans say they're willing to consider new tax revenue but only through drafting a new tax code that lowers rates and eliminates some deductions and wasteful tax breaks. And they're insisting on cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and food stamps, known as entitlement programs in Washington-speak.

The current assumption is that any agreement would be a multistep process that would begin this year with a down payment on the deficit and on action to stave off more than the tax increases and $109 billion in across-the-board cuts to the Pentagon budget and a variety of domestic programs next year.

The initial round is likely to set binding targets on revenue levels and spending cuts, but the details would probably be enacted next year.

While some of that heavy work would be left for next year, a raft of tough decisions would have to be made in the next six weeks. They could include the overall amount of deficit savings and achieving agreement on how much would come from revenue increases and how much would be cut from costly health care programs, the Pentagon and the day-to-day operating budgets of domestic Cabinet agencies.

Democrats are sure to press for a guarantee that tax reform doesn't end up hurting middle-income taxpayers at the expense of upper-bracket earners. Republicans want to press for corporate tax reform and a guarantee that the top rate paid by individuals and small businesses goes down along the way.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:24 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post

Study warns of another recession if 'fiscal cliff' not addressed, Obama re-enters debate
Published November 09, 2012
I wonder if the President will have learned the lesson of his divisive first term or if he'll try to roll the Republicans with his "I won" bullshit yet again.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:19 AM   #100
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:40 AM   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patteeu View Post
I wonder if the President will have learned the lesson of his divisive first term or if he'll try to roll the Republicans with his "I won" bullshit yet again.
Yeah, pin this on the president because house republicans don't want to negotiate either.

These mother****ers need to get in a room, lock the door, keep all the cameras out and hash this shit out.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:52 AM   #102
mlyonsd mlyonsd is offline
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Yeah, pin this on the president because house republicans don't want to negotiate either.

These mother****ers need to get in a room, lock the door, keep all the cameras out and hash this shit out.
Bull shit. They need to get in a big room with cameras so we can watch them like a hawk.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:55 AM   #103
HonestChieffan HonestChieffan is offline
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Bull shit. They need to get in a big room with cameras so we can watch them like a hawk.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:23 AM   #104
alnorth alnorth is online now
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I wonder if the President will have learned the lesson of his divisive first term or if he'll try to roll the Republicans with his "I won" bullshit yet again.
Obama was not shy about raising taxes, it was one of the centerpieces of his campaign. Thats what the people voted for, and he has the mandate. The Republicans would have lost the house too if they did not have the enormous advantage of redistricting following the 2010 wave.

If the GOP wont budge from letting the top bracket go to Clinton-era rates, then Obama will probably let the tax cuts expire, and THEN talk about tax cuts with the GOP.

The Republicans have no leverage. Zero, none whatsoever.
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Old 11-09-2012, 11:31 AM   #105
BucEyedPea BucEyedPea is offline
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Bull shit. They need to get in a big room with cameras so we can watch them like a hawk.
Gee, not a bad idea.
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