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January 2, 2013

Two different takes on the NYE “fiscal cliff” compromises:

  • Congressional Budget Office The Congressional Budget Office released a new report on New Year’s Day, outlining what it believed would be the new “fiscal cliff” compromise’s impact on the national debt. Their verdict? $4 trillion added over the next decade.
  • White House The Obama Administration denied claims that the “fiscal cliff” deal would add $4 trillion to our national debt, and said those in the White House expect to see $737 billion trimmed from the national debt thanks to the recent negotiations. So, anybody who did a little better in Econ than we did want to let us know who’s right and who’s wrong? source
16:57 // 1 year ago
January 1, 2013

Obama’s eventful evening, told in pictures

10:45 p.m.: The House passes the Fiscal Cliff bill, after a solid day of hand-wringing
11:25 p.m.: Obama wearily speaks to reporters regarding the deal made, after signing the bill. 
11:32 p.m.: Obama plots his trip back to Hawaii. “My work is done here,” he was probably saying to himself as he boarded Air Force One.

23:50 // 1 year ago
House is currently voting on Fiscal Cliff legislation. It’s like watching grass grow. It’s mesmerizing. (In case you’re wondering, though there were some rumbles of changing things earlier, it’s a straight vote on the Senate legislation.)
UPDATE: The bill passed. Image has been updated to show the moment where it hit a majority.

House is currently voting on Fiscal Cliff legislation. It’s like watching grass grow. It’s mesmerizing. (In case you’re wondering, though there were some rumbles of changing things earlier, it’s a straight vote on the Senate legislation.)

UPDATE: The bill passed. Image has been updated to show the moment where it hit a majority.

22:48 // 1 year ago
16:17 // 1 year ago

US Senate approves deal to avert ‘fiscal cliff’

breakingnews:

APEarly Tuesday morning the US Senate passed a deal to avert the ‘fiscal cliff.’ The legislation will now move to the House of Representatives where a vote is expected before Wednesday.

The White House-backed deal raises taxes on incomes of more than $400,000 for individuals and on incomes of more than $450,000 for couples. The measure also temporarily blocks spending cuts for two months.

Who wants to bet the House finds a way to screw this up?

2:34 // 1 year ago
December 31, 2012
demnewswire:

Senate Democratic aide: White House and GOP reach deal on fiscal cliff.

Some details on the deal, from CBS:

Tax rates: current tax rates will be extended for all wage earners making below $400,000 and couples making below $450,000. This was a key concession for both Republicans and Democrats. Democrats wanted the threshold for tax increases to rest at $250,000 and Republicans didn’t want marginal tax rates to increase for anyone.
The estate tax: it was set to increase from rom 35 percent to 55 percent in 2013. Instead, the compromise sets the new rate at 40 percent with the first $5 million worth of property exempt from being taxed.
Capital gains tax: Capital gains and dividend tax rates will increase from 15 to 20 percent.
Alternative Minimum Tax: a permanent fix to the tax that would hit middle class families “Doc Fix”: doctors will be shielded from a massive reimbursement gap for treating Medicare patients.
Unemployment benefits: unemployed workers will receive their benefits which expired over the weekend.
Renewable energy tax credit: the tax credit for renewable energy companies will be extended for another year.

The deal involves a little bit of kicking the can down the road: Sequestration will be held off for two months. Which means that, for the first time ever, an odd-numbered year may be a leap year, as the deal would expire at the end of February.

demnewswire:

Senate Democratic aide: White House and GOP reach deal on fiscal cliff.

Some details on the deal, from CBS:

Tax rates: current tax rates will be extended for all wage earners making below $400,000 and couples making below $450,000. This was a key concession for both Republicans and Democrats. Democrats wanted the threshold for tax increases to rest at $250,000 and Republicans didn’t want marginal tax rates to increase for anyone.

The estate tax: it was set to increase from rom 35 percent to 55 percent in 2013. Instead, the compromise sets the new rate at 40 percent with the first $5 million worth of property exempt from being taxed.

Capital gains tax: Capital gains and dividend tax rates will increase from 15 to 20 percent.

Alternative Minimum Tax: a permanent fix to the tax that would hit middle class families “Doc Fix”: doctors will be shielded from a massive reimbursement gap for treating Medicare patients.

Unemployment benefits: unemployed workers will receive their benefits which expired over the weekend.

Renewable energy tax credit: the tax credit for renewable energy companies will be extended for another year.

The deal involves a little bit of kicking the can down the road: Sequestration will be held off for two months. Which means that, for the first time ever, an odd-numbered year may be a leap year, as the deal would expire at the end of February.

(via resurrecthobbes)

21:29 // 1 year ago

House GOP: No vote on ‘fiscal cliff’ deal on Monday

breakingnews:

The US House will miss the midnight Monday deadline lawmakers set for voting to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

House Republicans notified lawmakers that the chamber will vote Monday evening on other bills. They say that will be their only votes of the day, the Associated Press and others reported.

It remained unclear whether the Senate would vote Monday.

Congress could pass later legislation retroactively blocking the tax hikes and spending cuts.

More from the Associated Press here.

As we predicted, the ball already dropped. No need to watch TV tonight. Dick Clark (RIP) won’t be on anyway, sadly. :(

17:09 // 1 year ago
14:36 // 1 year ago
December 30, 2012
15:34 // 1 year ago

Three key things Obama said during his “Meet the Press” appearance

  • fiscal cliff “[Republicans] say that their biggest priority is making sure we deal with the deficit in a serious way, but the way they’re behaving is that their only priority is making sure that tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans are protected. That seems to be their only overriding, unifying theme.”
  • sandy hook “That was the worst day of my presidency and it’s not something that I want to see repeated. … All of us have to do some soul-searching, including me as president, that we allow a situation in which 20 precious small children are getting gunned down in their classroom. This is not something that I will be putting off.”
  • second term “One of the nice things about never having another election and never having to campaign again is, I think you can rest assured, that all I care about is making sure that I leave behind an America that is stronger, more prosperous, more stable, more secure, than it was when I came into office. That will continue to drive me.” source
15:05 // 1 year ago