Fiscal cliff agreement reached?


Submitted: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 3:43am
Updated: Tue, 01/01/2013 - 4:48am

Washington, D.C. (CNN) –- A deal was reached between Congressional leaders and the White House late Monday night, according to a Democratic source.

The agreement brokered by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was later signed off on by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid during calls with President Barack Obama, said a source familiar with the deal.

The same source said the plan postpones the sequester by two months, half paid for through tax revenue and half paid for through spending cuts. Half of the spending cuts stems from defense spending and half from non-defense spending.

The individual $5 million exemption level for the estate tax, an element supported by Republicans, will remain. But that cap is indexed to inflation, meaning it will increase every year, according to the same source, an element incorporated at the insistence of moderate Democrats.

Additionally, the “Doc Fix,” payments to doctors who take Medicare patients that the GOP wanted, will continue but will not be paid for by the Affordable Care Act.

The tentative agreement also includes a one year extension of unemployment benefits and will allow income taxes for individuals making $400,000 a year and households making $450,000 to return to the Clinton-era rate of 39.6%.

The deal resolves other outstanding sticking points by including an extension in tax credits for child care and tuition. It also caps itemized deductions, starting at a threshold of $250,000 for individuals and $300,000 for households.


  • Vog46 says:

    And as Greece has shown us austerity doesn’t work. (Making guys like Krugman (sic) right)
    We are far away from Greece which has debt exceeding 200% of GDP (we’re at what 20%?) Most Americans, including me believe we need to both raise taxes and cut spending – but it does NOT have to be a knee jerk abolishing of Medicare or a deep cut to DoD.
    All of the Bush tax cuts should have expired and across the board cuts needed to take place
    Additionally the war in Iraq and Afpakistan need to be included in our budget or war bonds need to be sold so that off the books spending does not drive up our debt


  • SurfCityTom says:

    where are we heading?

    Geitner has already announced the Treasury Department will take “administrative and bookkeeping” steps to forestall the impact of the Debt Limit. By his guesstimate, there is a 60 day window of time which can be used before the crunch hits.

    They failed to take any acttion on spending cuts in areas like long term unemployment, entitlement spending (and I do not include Social Security or Medicare when I talk about radical spending), nor did they enact legislation which would have forced the Feds to stop using the Social Security trust fund as a short term source of money to balance the budget or fund frivilous entitlement programs.

    I was pleasantly surprised to read that McIntyre voted NO. Maybe he got the message concerning his new constituency base.

    Conversely, I was disappointed to read Burr joined with Hagen in voting Yes. I guess he didn’t get the message.

    They can only kick this so far down the road.

    We could be another Greece. Even worse, we could be pre WWII Germany where it took a wheelbarrow full of German marks to purchase a day’s worth of food for a family.

    We could become a nation of survivalists or we could see our Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren facing the reality put upon them by a Government which could not control spending.

  • Vog46 says:

    When the pet projects, or the political ideologies on both sides get threatened.
    The DEMS are mad because they feel Obama capitulated and could have gotten a better deal.
    The GOP is mad because taxes are going up
    And now they’re pushing spending cuts down the road (again)
    This is so wrong on so many different levels.
    Why did McConnell insist that Biden be involved? I know that he and Joe are friends but now it looks as if the Administration solved the problem.
    Then we have the House which did not take up the bill because they WANTED taxes to “administratively” go up so that they could claim they cut them – just to maintain their ideological purity.
    And now we’ll have a debt ceiling fight after the GOP and the DEMS agreed to raise the ceiling 74 times in the past with no problems.
    Shoot, even Reagan raised taxes and guys like Bob Dole expanded Mediare.
    Americans want discussion from their politicians and they want negotiation – but they insist upon compromise.
    Just where the heck is this country heading?

  • taxpayer says:

    “Just where the heck is this country heading?”

    >On the same path as Greece Vog…on the same path as Greece. Obama is as inept as Jimmy Carter was as President. While the “official” market basket of goods and services doesn’t include food prices, we’re already seeing inflationary pressure there. The purchasing power of the dollar will continue to spiral downward. Interest rates are being kept low in the hope that it will spur economic development. It hasn’t…and won’t.

    Until the tax code is simplified and all people pay income tax, those of us who do will continue to subsidize those who don’t. There’s something wrong when an individual who pays no income tax at all can get a refund due to the various tax credits they get for having kids.

    Unfortunately, the spendaholics in DC see every “new” dollar as a reason to spend it and not pay down our national debt.

Leave a Reply