Congress awaits Obama's return for late push on "fiscal cliff"

Comments (22)
SeniorMoment wrote:

President Obama should have stayed on vacation. The taxes really do need to increase on virtually everyone. I personally think making U. S. Treasury bonds available discourages investments and any risk taking on both investments and lending. Obama also will not need to negotiate an increase in the debt limit if the sequestering of funds starts January 1st as well as new tax rates because then the budget cuts will be the spending reductions needed now to supplement the Clinton tax rates.

I don’t like paying income taxes as much as anyone else, but we have become a society where too many voters don’t have a stake in the decisions they help make by their voting choices.

I also think that if the Secretary of the Treasury notifies employers on January 1st what the new withholding rates will be it would be a service to every American.

The federal regulatory agencies are already understaffed, so the cuts will have to come from elsewhere, and because Clinton had a much smaller national debt to pay down on the restoration of his tax rates will not be enough to balance the budget. On paper the recession is over and what is now in the way of growth is entirely just uncertainty over what taxes will have to be paid and how that will impact investments. Those decisions are made on a company by company basis, not nationally.

Dec 26, 2012 9:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
TommyPaine wrote:

THE DANGERS OF BUNGEE JUMPING ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

On New Year’s Eve 2011, an Australian woman, Erin Langworthy, plunged headfirst into the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls — her feet still tied together — when her bungee cord snapped. Many financial pundits and Members of Congress now believe that it makes sense to allow the economy to metaphorically bungee jump over the Fiscal Cliff this New Year’s Eve, without thinking carefully about whether the fiscal policy “cord” they have in mind will be strong enough in January, after the leap; or whether it too will fail, plunging all of us into a recession. SO, BEFORE WE ARE SO QUICK TO JUMP … LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE CORD THEY PROPOSE TO USE, TO BRING US BACK UP …

The Congressional Budget Office (or “CBO”) has estimated that, without any solution, the Fiscal Cliff would shave 2 ¼ percent from the GDP – about 1 ½% of which is due to tax increases. The deal that Congress and the President have in mind would reduce this impact by restoring the tax cuts for Middle Class wage earners. The CBO has calculated that this one change would reduce the impact of the Fiscal Cliff by 1 ¼%. But even if they are able to reach such a deal immediately after January 1, nothing proposed would reduce the spending and Medicare reimbursement cuts scheduled to take place.

What would remain – using the CBO’s figures – is a cut of a full 1% of GDP. This cut would be taking place at a time when the domestic economy has been growing only 2% in the fourth quarter of 2012, retail sales grew even less than that (according to figures released just today) and overseas demand for U.S. goods and services is dropping because of a deepening recession in Europe. With those factors in mind, the CBO has estimated that the cuts would cost 1 million jobs over the coming two years and drive the unemployment rate back up to an estimated 9.1%.

The CBO and most economists are of a single mind that austerity (of the type that will cut more than $1.1 trillion in spending and add about $1.2 trillion in tax revenues over the next decade ) will be good for the economy in the long run. But the more thoughtful among them fear is that austerity right now is too dangerous a leap, and one from which we would not recover without considerable pain.

Dec 26, 2012 9:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
TommyPaine wrote:

THE DANGERS OF BUNGEE JUMPING ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

On New Year’s Eve 2011, an Australian woman, Erin Langworthy, plunged headfirst into the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls — her feet still tied together — when her bungee cord snapped. Many financial pundits and Members of Congress now believe that it makes sense to allow the economy to metaphorically bungee jump over the Fiscal Cliff this New Year’s Eve, without thinking carefully about whether the fiscal policy “cord” they have in mind will be strong enough in January, after the leap; or whether it too will fail, plunging all of us into a recession. SO, BEFORE WE ARE SO QUICK TO JUMP … LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT THE CORD THEY PROPOSE TO USE, TO BRING US BACK UP …

The Congressional Budget Office (or “CBO”) has estimated that, without any solution, the Fiscal Cliff would shave 2 ¼ percent from the GDP – about 1 ½% of which is due to tax increases. The deal that Congress and the President have in mind would reduce this impact by restoring the tax cuts for Middle Class wage earners. The CBO has calculated that this one change would reduce the impact of the Fiscal Cliff by 1 ¼%. But even if they are able to reach such a deal immediately after January 1, nothing proposed would reduce the spending and Medicare reimbursement cuts scheduled to take place.

What would remain – using the CBO’s figures – is a cut of a full 1% of GDP. This cut would be taking place at a time when the domestic economy has been growing only 2% in the fourth quarter of 2012, retail sales grew even less than that (according to figures released just today) and overseas demand for U.S. goods and services is dropping because of a deepening recession in Europe. With those factors in mind, the CBO has estimated that the cuts would cost 1 million jobs over the coming two years and drive the unemployment rate back up to an estimated 9.1%.

The CBO and most economists are of a single mind that austerity (of the type that will cut more than $1.1 trillion in spending and add about $1.2 trillion in tax revenues over the next decade ) will be good for the economy in the long run. But the more thoughtful among them fear is that austerity right now is too dangerous a leap, and one from which we would not recover without considerable pain.

Dec 26, 2012 9:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
LoveJoyOne wrote:

“Once the clock ticks past midnight on December 31, no member of Congress would have to vote for a tax increase on anyone – taxes would have risen automatically – and the only votes would be to decrease tax rates for most Americans back to their 2012 levels.”

Well, that’s what the ridiculous GOP Congress will do. It’s too obvious. No GOP clown wants to have a record of actually voting for tax increases.

Heaven forbid what will happen when they get to discussing the debt limit. It will be déjà vu all over again, as they (redundantly) say.

Now in 2013, I’d really like to see Obama hold out against lowering taxes for anyone with taxable income over, say, $100,000. He offered them $400,000 but they cut off their noses to spite their faces.

Dec 26, 2012 9:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
JoeObserver wrote:

Republicans will be happy to sit quietly, as spending cuts will kick in by default anyway regardless of whether a deal is reached or not.

Dec 26, 2012 9:55am EST  --  Report as abuse
usa.wi.vet.4q wrote:

Get ready America! The Government is going to get off their duff and help us. This will be extremely costly and will actually make our live worse. It is best that we act like they helped or they will try again. We can not afford these incredible lawmakers helping too much or they will finish destroying America. Both parties are complete failures.

Dec 26, 2012 10:15am EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

In the long run, Republicans look to benefit from going over the Fiscal Cliff. They can craft legislation taking the 98% back to 2012 tax levels and blame Obama for the higher taxes on the 2%. As he would surely veto any bill that includes the 2%. And I highly doubt Republicans could muster enough votes in both houses to override a veto. Spending cuts is where the real fight is going to be. Republican’s will be looking at limiting spending cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. And they’ll likely try and hold the debt ceiling hostage over this issue. Hoping Obama grows a pair this time around. Spending cuts need to be across the board. Everybody needs to puts a little something in the kitty. That is the only fair way to deal with it. Pick a number, everyone puts in their share. Though I would LOVE to see us eliminate the Department of Homeland Security. It’s $60B a year budget is a waste of money. Between the DHS and the TSA about the only thing they’ve accomplished is making sure that Granny and her tube of denture adhesive don’t both make it to Skokie on the same flight.

Dec 26, 2012 10:38am EST  --  Report as abuse
Lowell_Thinks wrote:

Going over the fiscal cliff will be the best thing that ever happened to this country. Illegals will have to pay for their tuition, drug dealers will no longer have Obama phones and welfare queens will have to work–heaven forbid. Wake up people we are becoming a 3rd World Nation. Join us now, the Patriots are the only hope for this great country. God Bless the Patriots! God Bless the Tea Party!

Dec 26, 2012 11:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
todnwth wrote:

When we have almost all the members of one of the political parties who are dumb enough to sign away their right to make their own decision to a man has either bribed them, threatened them or have some kind of knowledge about their character to have complete control over their decisions, something is terribly wrong with our political system!!!

I cannot imagine anyone would sign away the right to make their own decision when they are elected to represent a group of people who voted for them to BE LEADERS INSTEAD OF BEING COMMITTED TO SOMEONE WHO TELLS THEM WHAT THEY CAN OR CANNOT DO.

Dec 26, 2012 11:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
todnwth wrote:

When we have almost all the members of one of the political parties who are dumb enough to sign away their right to make their own decision to a man has either bribed them, threatened them or have some kind of knowledge about their character to have complete control over their decisions, something is terribly wrong with our political system!!!

I cannot imagine anyone would sign away the right to make their own decision when they are elected to represent a group of people who voted for them to BE LEADERS INSTEAD OF BEING COMMITTED TO SOMEONE WHO TELLS THEM WHAT THEY CAN OR CANNOT DO.

Dec 26, 2012 11:48am EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

todnwth..it’s even worse than you think..Norquist is funded by the rich people that these politicians get their campaign funding from. Norquist has them by the purse strings!

Dec 26, 2012 12:10pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sidevalve56 wrote:

They don’t neeed to raise the tax rate…they need to raise the ammount of people that pay taxes…almost half this country supports the other half…

Dec 26, 2012 12:54pm EST  --  Report as abuse

Remember that this “fiscal cliff” business is an artifice created by mutual agreement by this Congress and this President–and now it seems they’re using it as a zombie mask they can boot on and holler “Boo!” at us until the last microsecond. The assumption appears to be that all of us Americans will be so terrified that we’ll gratefully gobble down whatever manure sandwich they hand us after all these “heroics”.

Dec 26, 2012 12:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sjfella wrote:

Yap, yap, yap. Y’all re-elected them. No one to blame but yourselves.

Dec 26, 2012 1:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:

There is no fiscal cliff. Raising revenue and cutting spending is not a cliff. It’s medicine. Time for the politicians to take it and move on.

Dec 26, 2012 1:27pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

sidevalve56…see the attached link

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3505

The top 2% pay approx. 40% of all taxes, but they own 80% of all wealth.

Dec 26, 2012 1:53pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

AlkalineState..I have a hunch that the medicine won’t be as bad as touted (the Fiscal Cliff). Be interesting to see if this crop of losers (Congress) is capable of moving on. So many lobbyists and too many campaigns to fund. The only thing we have going for us is the Grid Lock. While Bill Clinton (and some delusional posters here) would try to sell you on what a great President he was…we had grid lock just about as bad during the Clinton years as we do right now. It’s a good thing when Congress can’t spend more money. Those that believe it’s Presidents that spend the money are Constitutionally impaired.

Dec 26, 2012 2:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
skyraider wrote:

Our corrupt and dysfunctional congress will simply legislate a new deadline. OMG what a surprise!

Dec 26, 2012 3:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
sidevalve56 wrote:

xyz that article just reinforced my point…even if it was a unique set of circumstances it was still lost revenue to the government…

Dec 26, 2012 4:39pm EST  --  Report as abuse
BDDuke wrote:

How about we the people cut their pay(politicians) by 90% since they can not do anything about anything.If the taxes do go up on the so called rich($250000,what a joke)Does this mean the politicians will have their taxes go up too?Are they going to pay it or just sweep it under the rug like Rangel and McCasskel did on her new jet she never paid taxes on till she was caught.All of their taxes will go up since they have all became millionaires from the checks passed to them by the lobbyist and other special interest groups.Oh how miss leading by me,President Obama in his first election said there would be no more lobbyist hanging around the W.H.Silly me.Now they come around to the back door to drop off the pay off`s.Greedy people in Washington is what is killing the U.S.A.”God save us all.”

Dec 26, 2012 7:29pm EST  --  Report as abuse
xyz2055 wrote:

sidevalve56..like the man said “it is what it is”. We can’t afford the tax breaks that the government has been giving out. The valve of that article is to see where taxes need to be revisited and understanding the areas where you aren’t going to get blood out of a turnip. It also shows how the % is unrealistically inflated, by including college students in the data for example. I’m sure you’ve seen the articles where some low income family adapts 6 kids and gives a big 5 figure tax return. In some cases $10′s of thousands more than they paid in. Or illegal immigrants that file tax returns claiming kids that don’t even live in this country AND get a fat return. If you look at the breaks doled out at the bottom and at the top, the Middle Income brackets are the ones who are really paying the highest percentage of the taxes in this country. My wife and I are at the top of the middle income bracket. We pay 100% more than those at the bottom and 50% more than those at the top. We have the most screwed up tax system on the planet. Ultimately you are right, it is lost revenue that we can’t afford. Eliminating the top 2% from the Bush era tax cuts is a good start. But a SERIOUS overhaul of the tax code is WAY overdo. There’s more than just the 2% that can afford to pay more to help our country as part of solving the debt problem. Corporate tax codes are even worse. Apple has a functional 7% tax rate. GE paid zero for 2010 and 2011. There are those that believe that if you make corporations pay more in taxes it will trickle down to the consumers. That isn’t necessarily true. Market demanded and pricing dictate what corporations can sell their products for. Apple has a 27% profit margin and is sitting on $100B in cash. They easily pay more in taxes without passing the expense on to consumers. Just my point of view.

Dec 26, 2012 7:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Robert-Mass wrote:

Personally, I hope that Obama and the Democrats hold the line on this one – I would rather lose my trivial Bush tax cut than see the huge ones given to wealthy extended. I also hope that people remember a little bit of recent history and understand what the Republicans are up to. In 1980, Reagan was elected largely on promises of fiscal responsibility, and proceeded to the expand the deficit. In 2000, Bush inherited a budget that had finally been balanced under Clinton’s administration, and proceeded to wreck it by unneeded tax cuts and unfunded wars, among other things. The lesson of history is that the GOP doesn’t care at all about deficits. They are happy to run them up, so that they can then turn around and say that the only solution to our budget problems is to cut social programs and entitlements. God forbid the wealthy should have to sacrifice a penny to help those less fortunate, or give others a fair chance of success.

Dec 26, 2012 8:48pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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