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Fiscal Cliff Deal Explained
by Chris Malone,posted Jan 2 2013 5:52AM
Congratulations to Congress for doing your job! With all the stalled talks the two political parties did what they were suppose to be doing all along...COMPROMISE and get the job done! So now we will not go over the fiscal cliff and much of middle class America will not see their taxes increase. Here is a rundown of some of the agreement’s key specifics, as reported by the Washington Post and others:
For couples earning more than $450,000 (or individuals earning more than $400,000), Bush-era tax cuts will expire, and the top income tax rate will rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent
For couples earning less than $250,000 (or individuals earning less than $200,000), Bush-era tax cuts will be made permanent
For households earning between those two figures, some exemptions and deductions will expire.
Investment taxes and estate taxes will rise, though with big exemptions.
Stimulus tax credits for college tuition and the working poor will be extended for five years.
Benefits for the long-term unemployed will be extended for one year.
The alternative minimum tax will not go into effect for some 30 million taxpayers, but the payroll tax cut will expire, hitting most taxpayers.
Some stimulus tax credits for businesses, including in the renewable energy sector, will be extended for one year.
The deal will raise about $600 billion over the next decade compared to a pre-fiscal cliff baseline, less than the $1.6 trillion Obama first sought.
Compared to a post-fiscal cliff baseline, meanwhile, the deal is a huge tax cut that will slash revenue by some $3.7 trillion.
Sequestered cuts to defense and other budgets will be delayed two months, with a plan to replace them with equal measures of targeted cuts and revenue increases.
Doctors who provide Medicare won’t face scheduled pay cuts.
A nine-month farm bill fix will avoid the “dairy cliff”.
Congress will have its pay frozen again.
So both President Obama and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell both made concessions and in the end came together to do what's best for the country. It's a shame that the House of Representatives could not put party politics aside and do what the Senate did.