Once again at the 12th hour a deal is reached. Over the next several days we will get more details on this deal. Here’s what I think that we have:
Bush tax cuts: The deal would extend all of the Bush tax cuts for incomes below $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for families, while reinstating the Clinton-era 39.6 percent tax rate for income above those thresholds. It will also push the capital gains rate on investment income back to 20 percent for income above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for families. President Obama had asked for an extension of rates only for incomes below $250,000.
Stimulus tax credits: Three tax credits expanded as part of the stimulus will be extended for one year as part of the compromise. The America’s Opportunity Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, and Earned Income Tax Credit collectively benefitnearly 20 million Americans each year, and extending them was a priority for Obama and Democrats. Republicans allowed all three to expire in tax legislation earlier this year. Continue reading Fiscal Cliff – We got a parachute→
Just because it looks as if the Keystone Pipeline is dead, don’t think that this fight is over. Some very powerful people stand to make tons of money for this project to simply die. It will be back, I promise.
For the second time in as many months, the Obama administration has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline—a hugely controversial project that would traverse the length of the country from Nebraska to the Gulf of Mexico, carrying heavy and dirty tar sands oil from deep in Canada.
You’ll recall that, following a summer of protests and civil disobedience, the administration announced in November that it was delaying the project for at least a year, until a less disruptive route around a key aquifer in Nebraska could be studied and proposed. (Many believe this delay would kill the project entirely).
But Republicans successfully revived the project during the end-of-year negotiations on the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. Democrats desperately wanted these measures, and the final bill included a provision that would force the State Department to issue a decision on Keystone within two months. (more…)
Oh, btw, I don’t buy the GOP argument that the pipeline would make 2500 or 100,000 jobs. Media Matters clearly shows how the media pumped up the jobs numbers.
When the GOP took the House, they promised to focus on jobs and the American economy. Over the last year, they’ve taken a hard line on multiple issues. None of these issues were going to help the job market or the average American worker. Back in April the GOP was going to shut down the government by slashing hundreds of billions of dollars for domestic programs. That didn’t work so well. Then, in August, we had the debt ceiling debate where, once again, the GOP was prepared to shut down the government if they didn’t get what they wanted. There is no compromise. It was their way or shut down the government. Next, the issue became disaster relief. Eric Cantor and the rest of the GOP hardliners insisted on having offsets in order to release disaster funds. Of course, they only wanted to cut domestic programs and wouldn’t agree to (or even talk about) cutting military programs or about raising money by taxing the wealthy. That also did not work out for the GOP. Then, just last month, the super committee was supposed to come up with super tax cuts and Republicans on the committee stood resolutely by their opposition to raise any revenue. Basically, the committee did nothing. Finally, the GOP decided that they were going to stand up against renewing the payroll tax cut. This is a tax cut which has helped average Americans. This is $1000 directly into the pocket of everyday working Americans and for some inexplicable reason the GOP opposed it.
I shudder to think what the Republican-led House is planning for 2012.