What Extremist Opposition? President Obama Praises Both Parties for Fiscal Cliff Deal
Kyle Becker | On 02, Jan 2013
The House of Representatives approved the Senate’s bill without significant amendment to avert the fiscal cliff — 257-167. Although two-thirds of House Republicans voted against the deal, it was passed without major spending cuts. Speaker Boehner and Cathy McMorris Rodgers led those who voted for the deal, while Majority Leader Eric Cantor and GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy voted against.
President Obama was obviously enthusiastic that there will be another year of trillion dollar deficits to continue his streak of four fiscal years in a row. The POTUS even patted the complicit Republicans on the head during his speech, which is apparently what the lapdog GOP leadership wanted.
The Congressional budget office scored the deal as adding $4 trillion to the budget baseline over ten years, but as Philip Klein at the Examiner points out, $3.6 trillion of that figure is foregone tax revenue. As predicted, going over the cliff and then brokering a deal in faux-dramatic, eye-rolling fashion allows both parties to claim that they are tax-cutters; meanwhile, the president can ham up his class warfare rhetoric by lauding tax hikes on the rich to his left-wing base.
For a recap of the deal that was passed by the Senate, as voted on by the House without significant amendment:
- No major spending cuts.
- “Extends decade-old tax cuts on incomes up to $400,000 for individuals, $450,000 for couples. Earnings above those amounts would be taxed at a rate of 39.6 percent, up from the current 35 percent. Extends Clinton-era caps on itemized deductions and the phase-out of the personal exemption for individuals making more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $300,000.”
- “Estates would be taxed at a top rate of 40 percent, with the first $5 million in value exempted for individual estates and $10 million for family estates. In 2012, such estates were subject to a top rate of 35 percent.”
- “Capital gains, dividends: Taxes on capital gains and dividend income exceeding $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for families would increase from 15 percent to 20 percent.”
- Unemployment benefits are extended for an additional year, affecting approximately 2 million out-of-work Americans.”
- Tax credits for college tuition, created by the 2009 stimulus package, are extended for five years, impacting some 25 million lower-income families.
- The “doctor fix” is in, meaning that Medicare providers will not face a serious cut in pay.
- The Alternative Minimum Tax problem is permanently fixed removing a potential tax danger for middle class families.
- A number of existing business tax deductions will remain in place for another year, including renewable energy tax credit, which is extended for an additional year.
- The $900 per year salary raise recently signed into existence by President Obama for members of Congress is revoked.
- No deal on indefinitely suspending debt ceiling.
- No payroll taxcut of 2% for wage earners.
So, the rubber-stamp, GOP-led House caved on every single point of contention the president demanded, and will still be railed against as partisan and extremist by the left-wing media when the debt ceiling negotiations begin. Spending other people’s money without restraint is some kind of religion to the left, and if the American people do not demand an end to the runaway debt spending, they are going to watch the most prosperous economy in the world implode due to irresponsible governance.