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 The Fiscal Cliff 
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Post The Fiscal Cliff
Great find by Lynn :clap :clap :clap

Lynnwood wrote:
The reporter here, although the interview is a bit shaky, both her and her interviewee are telling the unadulterated truth. WOW, more power to them. Gives me a grain of hope.

http://www.khq.com/category/195686/vide ... d=8108860#

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Mon Dec 31, 2012 11:44 am
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Post Re: The Fiscal Cliff
Fiscal Cliff my ass - it more like a slippery slope M E M E created for the sheeples to be fearful and Accept the planned changes coming!!!

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:07 am
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Post Re: The Fiscal Cliff
I, for one, hope we go off the cliff.

IMHO, that is the only way we will EVER reduce the Department of Defense's budget.

That one thing alone will make the world safer in 2013.

As to more taxes - good! Bring it on.

As to supporting the Republican's cuts to "Entitlements" - saw this on Democratic Underground and I couldn't agree more:

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:mrgreen:

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:26 pm
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Post Re: The Fiscal Cliff
Or introduce a Goods and Services Tax or any company that generates over $100,000 per week, Tax them 99.99% on everything! that'll teach them!.

Also salary caps for the wealthy of $300 a week Make them sweat for once!, No more C.E.O. and C.S.O and the likes getting over $50,000 a week for doing absolutely NOTHING! it's $300 per week. :fight :fight :fight make the system so efficient it squeals like a wounded PIG and NO MORE GOLDEN HANDSHAKES! :fight :fight :fight :censor :censor :banned

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Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:51 pm
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Post Re: The Fiscal Cliff
Divided House Passes Tax Deal in End to Latest Fiscal Standoff

WASHINGTON — Ending a climactic fiscal showdown in the final hours of the 112th Congress, the House late Tuesday passed and sent to President Obama legislation to avert big income tax increases on most Americans and prevent large cuts in spending for the Pentagon and other government programs.

The measure, brought to the House floor less than 24 hours after its passage in the Senate, was approved 257 to 167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting to allow income taxes to rise for the first time in two decades, in this case for the highest-earning Americans. Voting no were 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

The bill was expected to be signed quickly by Mr. Obama, who won re-election on a promise to increase taxes on the wealthy.

Con. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/us/po ... 0102&_r=2&

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Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:26 pm
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 Re: The Fiscal Cliff
On The New Definition Of "Rich", A $620 Billion Tax Hike Offset By $15 Billion In Spending Cuts
by Tyler Durden

We greet the new year with an America that has a Fiscal Cliff deal. Actually no, it doesn't - not even close. What it does have is an agreement, so far only at the Senate level which voted a little after 2 AM eastern in an 89-8 vote (Nays from Democrats Bennet, Cardin, Harkin, and Republicans - Lee, Paul, Grassley, Rubio and Shelby), to delay the all-important spending side of the Fiscal Cliff "deal" which "can is kicked" in the form of a 60 day extension to the sequester, to be taken up "eventually", but hopefully not on day 59 at the 11th hour, the same as fate of the all important US debt ceiling, which remains in limbo, and which now effectively prohibits America from incurring any new gross debt as the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling was breached yesterday. In other words, America's primary deficit sourcing mechanism is now put on hiatus, and all new net debt will come at the expense of defunding various government retirement funds as the 60 day countdown to the real showdown begins: the debt ceiling, as well as the resolution of the spending side of the Fiscal Cliff deal.

What did happen last night was merely the legislating of the inevitable tax hike on the 1%, which was assured the night Obama won the presidential election, something not even the most rabid Norquist pledge signatories had hope of avoiding. This was the first income tax hike in nearly two decades. A tax hike which, regardless of how it is spun, will result in a drag in consumption. It was also the brand new definition of rich, with the "$250,000" income threshold now left in the dust, and "$400,000 for individuals ($450,000 for joint filers)" taking its place. If you make more than that, congratulations: you are now "rich". You will also be hated for being part of the 1%. and be the target in the ongoing class war.

Who knew that "New Normal" would also bring us the "New Rich" definition.

Ironically, not even the tax hike component of the deal was fully worked out, as it still remains unclear just what the new tax brackets and what the tax increases for the much maligned 1% will be.

What is generally known is that the Senate bill boils down to the following: $620 billion in tax hikes over the next decade offset by $15 billion in spending cuts now. Hardly "fair and balanced." Anyone who, therefore, thinks this bill is a slam dunk in the House is a brave gambling man.

The said, the "good news" is that 99% of Americans will see no change in their taxes, as was the idea all along. And the evil 1% will get their just deserts, which was the whole purpose of this relentless soap opera

The bad news is that starting today millions of wage earners, will see a smaller paycheck as a result of the lapse in the 2% payroll-tax cut, enacted in 2010, which lowered the employee portion of the Social Security tax from 6.2% to 4.2%. The direct cost of the payroll tax expiration will be $125 billion per year, or nearly a full percentage point of GDP, and in practical terms, an individual earnings the maximum cap of $113,700 (for 2013), will see their paycheck drop by $200/month.

That's just the beginning. The WSJ details the various other implications of the expiration of the payroll tax cut:

It will take up to four weeks after a bill is passed for many workers to know exactly what their 2013 take-home pay will be, according to Michael O'Toole, an official of the American Payroll Association, a group of 21,000 payroll managers.

Just before midnight, the Internal Revenue Service issued new withholding tables for 2013 reflecting the expiration of the 2001-3 tax cuts and the two-percentage point Social Security tax cut. But the IRS noted that the tables might change given pending legislation.

The 2013 tax-filing season also is likely to be disrupted by Washington's wrangling on deadline. In November, acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steve Miller warned that the filing season would be delayed by several weeks. Normally the season opens in mid-January, but this year it may be delayed till mid-February or later.

As a result, many filers won't be able to receive tax refunds as early as they normally do. "Congress's delays have pushed back the repayment of interest-free loans to the government for millions of taxpayers," said Lawrence Gibbs, a former IRS Commissioner now with the Miller & Chevalier law firm in Washington. The average refund is approaching $3,000, according to IRS data.

So very much still remains unknown. Here is what is known on the tax side of the "deal":

Income-tax rates. The top rate on ordinary income such as wages for joint filers earning more than $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers) would rise to 39.6%. Current law would be permanently extended for income earned below that level. Left unclear is whether the $450,000/$400,000 threshold refers to adjusted gross income (AGI) or taxable income. AGI doesn't include subtractions for itemized deductions, while taxable income does.

The individual income tax is the government's biggest single source of revenue, supplying nearly half the total.

Investment tax rates. For joint filers with income above $450,000 ($400,000 single), the top rate on long-term capital gains and dividends would rise to 20% from 15%. For taxpayers earning less than the thresholds, there would be a permanent 15% top rate on long-term capital gains and dividends, except perhaps for the lowest-bracket taxpayers, who currently have a zero rate.

Alternative minimum tax. The bill permanently and retroactively adjusts the alternative minimum tax to stop it enveloping more taxpayers than designed. The current fix expired at the beginning of 2012.

PEP and Pease provisions. The deal restores and makes permanent two backdoor tax increases for joint filers with incomes above $300,000 ($250,000 for singles).

When it was last in effect, the Personal Exemption Phaseout reduced or eliminated the value of personal exemptions for taxpayers earning more than the income threshold. The Pease provision—named after the late Rep. Donald Pease (D., Ohio)—reduced itemized deductions for taxpayers above a certain threshold. The formula's net effect was to add a bit more than 1% to the top tax rate, says Mr. Williams of the Tax Policy Center, including the top rate on capital gains.

Estate and gift tax. The estate and gift tax exemption would remain $5 million or more per individual vs. the $3.5 million sought by President Obama. But the current 35% top tax rate on amounts above the exemption would increase to 40%.

Tax "extenders." This term refers to several provisions that lapsed either at the beginning or the end of 2012. They would be extended for varying periods, and provisions that expired in early 2012 would be extended retroactively. Among these provisions are deductions for $250 of teachers' classroom expenses; state sales taxes in lieu of state income taxes; tuition and related expenses; a conservation donation benefit; and the direct charitable contribution of up to $100,000 of IRA assets for people 70½ and older.

The deal would also extend for five years the American Opportunity Tax Credit; for many taxpayers this dollar-for-dollar credit is worth up to $2,500 and therefore the most valuable education benefit. And it would extend for five years the current versions of the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit, which are claimed by many lower-income workers making up to about $50,000.

Depreciation. A one-year extension of current "bonus" depreciation rules, which allow businesses to deduct up to 50% of the cost of a wide variety of property and equipment, excluding real estate. "This will be very helpful to a lagging economy," says Don Williamson, an accountant who also heads the Kogod Tax Center at American University.


In other words: congratulations America, you have a Fiscal Cliff deal. Oh sorry, no you don't. But it does make for even better political grandstanding and melodramatic theater.

And now, we look forward to late February, early March, when as we said all along, the real showdown will take place, one which the market will no longer be able to avoid.


http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-0 ... nd-much-mo



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Fri Jan 04, 2013 12:26 am
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Post Re: The Fiscal Cliff
Sorry, Sky, but IMHO the above article represents just so much sour grapes.

The fact of the matter is that even though this bill is pork laden it DOES help 98% of American citizens. This is one of the issues Obama successfully ran on.

As a nation, we cannot simply cut government programs to reduce our debt. We must raise revenue while reducing government spending. And we need to be very, very careful about which programs we cut and how much - particularly at this time in our economic recovery.

The Tea Party Republicans are currently placing all their eggs in one basket - the debt ceiling. I think they are going to lose this battle, too. Obama will, again, take to the airways and convince the American people to back him on raising the debt ceiling - just like he did on the tax breaks. There is very little conservatives can do (now) to prevent this from happening.

President Obama very, very skillfully played this tax break for most Americans in that he has now removed this source of revenue from the continuing battles over the deficit and the budget. Now we head to the debt ceiling "battle" in a new Congress where the Republicans lost a number of seats last Fall.

Not to mention the furor and uproar caused by the 112th Congress when they failed to fund the Hurricane Sandy relief for states and local communities. You have to understand that a number of House Republicans (and Governors) in the Northeast feel betrayed by their own party right now. These folks will take a long, hard look at just how much support they will, in turn, give their caucus when the debt ceiling and other bills come up for a vote.

The Republican party is at a cross roads right now. The Party itself is in disarray, it's leadership is fractured and it's long vaunted "unity" is at risk. Basically the House (and its Republican "leadership") were left in the dust on this tax bill. The bill was cobbled together by the Senate and the Vice President - not the House. John Boehner may have just been re-elected Speaker of the House but his ability to LEAD the House (all of it - not just the Republicans) is now in serious doubt. Eric Cantor voted NO on the tax bill while Boehner voted YES.

In the coming months we will also begin to see the "savings" from the draw down of troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Don't forget both of those wars were unfunded by Congress.

It will definitely be an interesting few months.

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Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:22 am
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Post Re: The Fiscal Cliff
GOP's obstructionism is suicide strategy
By Michael Wolraich, Special to CNN
updated 7:57 AM EST, Fri January 4, 2013

(CNN) --

snip

Welcome to the art of negotiation, Republican style. Since the election of 2010, the United States has narrowly averted three Republican-built suicide bombs: one government shutdown, one debt default and one fiscal cliff. We have two more scheduled for February: across-the-board spending cuts and another debt ceiling expiration.

The Republicans' suicide strategy is a relatively new addition to American politics. Newt Gingrich pioneered the first government shutdown in 1995. It was so disastrous that no one tried it again for 16 years. In the meantime, Republicans pursued a more traditional method known as the democratic process. They campaigned for election and took control of the White House, Senate and House of Representatives. From 2001 to 2006, the dominant Republicans passed plenty of conservative legislation. (They did not, however, reduce spending or balance the budget.)

When their golden era came to an end, many Republicans refused to accept that the popular will had turned against them and resorted to obstructionist tactics. In the Senate, they have filibustered 391 Democratic bills in the past six years, culminating last month in Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's historic filibuster of his own bill. The Democrats are no strangers to the filibuster, of course, but they managed only 201 in their six years of minority status.

Yet the Senate is a model of effective government compared with the House, now the only Republican-dominated branch of the federal government. Frustrated by their inability to get conservative legislation past the Democratic-controlled Senate and White House, congressional Republicans have revived the "suicide bomb."

The key to the suicide bomb strategy is to convince people that members of the conservative wing of the Republican Party are crazy enough to wreck the economy if they don't get their way. Democratic leaders seem to believe them. Like the hapless bartender, they keep tossing the Republicans wads of cash -- spending cuts and tax breaks -- in order to spare the country from a debt default, shutdown or recession.

snip

So what will happen when Obama finally says enough is enough? Is the country destined to go BOOM?

Fortunately not. The joke has a hidden punchline. It turns out that the suicide bomber is a part-owner of the bar. The folks who will lose the most if the bomb goes off are the investors, bankers and businesspeople who still retain large stakes in the Republican Party. When the Republicans threatened to let the government default in 2011, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other industry advocates objected with growing concern. If the Democrats refuse to negotiate this time around, industry advocates will not sit idly while the party they finance deliberately ruins their businesses.

But what if the conservative Republicans are really that crazy? What if they are so committed to their agenda and dismissive of their constituents that they will allow unemployment to rise, interest rates to skyrocket, government services to disappear, seniors to lose their Social Security checks and other catastrophic consequences of debt defaults and government shutdowns?

If that is the case, however unlikely, than we will only have to survive until the next election, at which point the Republicans will discover that suicide bombings produce only one guaranteed casualty: the bomber himself.

Read more here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/04/opinion/wolraich-gop-strategy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Could not have said it better myself. :clap

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Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:40 am
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 Re: The Fiscal Cliff
(I am assuming that the debt limit is related to the fiscal cliff)

-----------------------------------------------

Well at the last possible moment the debt limit was raised... for a few months.

Immediate doom has been set aside, albeit until the new year....

Here is a short video which explains why the debt limit should not be raised.

I would say "enjoy" but given the harsh reality of the situation so perhaps everyone should be weeping. Certainly the children of today will want to curse their parents and grandparents for the outcome.

:rant :flame :censor

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Thu Oct 17, 2013 11:20 am
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