The Biden-McConnell deal:
Tax rates will permanently rise to Clinton-era levels for families with income above $450,000 and individuals above $400,000. All income below the threshold will permanently be taxed at Bush-era rates.
The tax on capital gains and dividends will be permanently set at 20 percent for those with income above the $450,000/$400,000 threshold. It will remain at 15 percent for everyone else. (Clinton-era rates were 20 percent for capital gains and taxed dividends as ordinary income, with a top rate of 39.6 percent.)
The estate tax will be set at 40 percent for those at the $450,000/$400,000 threshold, with a $5 million exemption. That threshold will be indexed to inflation, as a concession to Republicans and some Democrats in rural areas like Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.).
The sequester will be delayed for two months. Half of the delay will be offset by discretionary cuts, split between defense and non-defense. The other half will be offset by revenue raised by the voluntary transfer of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, which would tax retirement savings when theyre moved over.
The pay freeze on members of Congress and all other federal civilian employees, which Obama had lifted this week, will be re-imposed, .
The 2009 expansion of tax breaks for low-income Americans will be extending, continuing a more generous Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit.
The Alternative Minimum Tax will be permanently patched to avoid raising taxes on the middle-class.
The deal will not address the debt-ceiling, and the payroll tax holiday will be allowed to expire.
Two limits on tax exemptions and deductions for higher-income Americans will be reimposed: Personal Exemption Phaseout (PEP) will be set at $250,000 and the itemized deduction limitation (Pease) kicks in at $300,000.
The full package of temporary business tax breaks benefiting everything from R&D and wind energy to race-car track owners will be extended for another year.
Scheduled cuts to doctors under Medicare would be avoided for a year through spending cuts that havent been specified.
Federal unemployment insurance will be extended for another year, benefiting those unemployed for longer than 26 weeks. This $30 billion provision wont be offset.
A nine-month farm bill fix will be attached to the deal, Sen. Debbie Stabenow told reporters, averting the newly dubbed milk cliff.
Is that you, Mac???
1. Punishes a class too small to protect themselves
2. Punishes success
3. Continues to allow the STUPIDITY of the Bush cuts to continue to allow a huge class that pays NO tax at all or to speak of.
4. Simply kicks cans down the road
5. Lots of PORK for pubbie and rat friends
6. No cuts to speak of
We are well and truly screwed and have been for some time now. I don’t know why I bother to protest or comment. Trying to plug holes in a ship full of water is a waste of time. It really does not matter what the fools and traitors in washington do... it is all pretty meaningless now.
Admittedly, there were some good things in the bill as stand alone items, but it was the whole package we had to swallow to get them that make it not quite the good deal the spin wants us to believe, which is also the Wall Street Journal’s take on it:
“The Senate-White House compromise grudgingly passed by the House is a Beltway classic: The biggest tax increase in 20 years in return for spending increases, and all spun for political purposes as a ‘tax cut for the middle class.’
Senators stuffed their bill full of tax subsidies for special business interests.
It’s especially embarrassing that Republicans went along with this, given their 2012 campaign support for fewer loopholes in exchange for lower rates.
Keep in mind that this entire exercise was also supposed to promote ‘deficit reduction.’
He [Obama]also made clear that the price of any future spending cuts or entitlement reform will be another tax increase.
Having been cornered into letting Democrats carry this special-interest slag heap through the House . . . Mr. Obama has his tax triumph.”
Read the whole article at: