ONTD Political

House approves Senate's fiscal cliff deal

10:08 pm - 01/01/2013
Washington (CNN) -- The House of Representatives voted Tuesday night to approve a Senate bill to avert a feared fiscal cliff.

The measure that sought to maintain tax cuts for most Americans but increase rates on the wealthy passed the Democratic-led Senate overwhelmingly early in the day.

There was discussion about amending the Senate bill by adding spending cuts, but in the end, House lawmakers voted on the bill as written -- a so-called up or down vote.

The legislation would raise roughly $600 billion in new revenues over 10 years, according to various estimates.

"I'd say let's take the Senate deal, fight another day," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, told CNN before the House vote. He predicted the House would pass the bill with a "pretty strong bipartisan majority."

"I'm a very reluctant yes," said Rep. Nan Hayworth, an outgoing Republican representative from New York.

"This is the best we can do given the Senate and the White House sentiment at this point in time, and it is at least a partial victory for the American people," she said. "I'll take that at this point."

The timing of the vote was crucial, as a new Congress is set to be sworn in Thursday.

The legislation averted much of the fiscal cliff's negative near-term economic impact by extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the majority of Americans. It also extends long-term unemployment benefits that were set to expire.

Had the House not acted, and the tax cuts enacted last decade expired fully, broad tax increases would have kicked in, as would $110 billion in automatic cuts to domestic and military spending.

Hmm. I think House republicans are realizing that public opinion is not on their side, so they're looking to take credit. Also at the source is a breakdown of 'five things to know about the fiscal cliff' that's a good read.

No 'fiscal cliff' or 'kick the can' tags?
amechiro 2nd-Jan-2013 06:04 am (UTC)
Thank fuck.

I was really stressed over this, and I'm not even american.
rkt 2nd-Jan-2013 06:05 am (UTC)
still, no cookies for them
and gdi republicans, can u stop pretending like you care about people?
amber_protocol 2nd-Jan-2013 08:04 am (UTC)
They care about people. Rich, white, straight men, you know, those people.
moonbladem 2nd-Jan-2013 06:23 am (UTC)
After all that chest-thumping and posturing from the House GOPs, they didn't have much of a choice, seeing as they know the eyes of America are on them. I have no doubt though, that they'll attempt to get their way, all the way, every single chance they get in future. It's really unfortunate that the GOP has devolved into a party of 12 year olds.
one_hoopy_frood 2nd-Jan-2013 06:26 am (UTC)
I hope the media doesn't somehow paint this as a great Republican act of compromise against the UNYIELDING AMERICAN-HATING LEFT or something.
hinoema 2nd-Jan-2013 07:04 am (UTC)
5... 4... 3...
astridmyrna 2nd-Jan-2013 06:31 am (UTC)
Awesome. Repubs dragged their feet like two-year-olds, but still, tax increases on the people who've been needing a tax increase for quite a while now!
hammersxstrings 2nd-Jan-2013 06:32 am (UTC)
The legislation averted much of the fiscal cliff's negative near-term economic impact by extending the Bush-era tax cuts for the majority of Americans.

Jeez. I am more than perfectly okay with paying a bit more in taxes; what's wrong with going back to the tax rates of the 90's?

That's a legitimate question, btw, cause I am woefully uneducated when it comes to all this mess...
outpour 2nd-Jan-2013 07:03 am (UTC)
there's nothing wrong with it except for the fact that the wealthy have grown accustomed to their tax cuts and don't want to give them up. it's just funny that everyone seems to forget that what obama has been proposing isn't some CRAZY SOCIALIST IDEA and is actually how taxes were back when we had a surplus instead of debt.
hinoema 2nd-Jan-2013 07:04 am (UTC)
IKR? I'd happily pay higher taxes if it meant having a realistic infrastructure.
ohloverx 2nd-Jan-2013 09:26 am (UTC)
If my husband and I made more, we'd gladly pay a bit more in taxes. Especially if it went to repairing our crumbling infrastructure, comprehensive health care for all citizens, a competitive education, low-cost higher learning, clean air, water and energy, science research, social safety nets, etc. The main reason we don't want to pay higher taxes right now is because we don't make a ton of money and need as much as we can to pay for our health care, our student loans, groceries, a roof over our heads, etc. The tax cuts expiring would have meant paying $1000-$1500 more as the 10% bracket was erased, plus lowering the amount of standard exemptions and getting rid of a few tax credits we use. That doesn't seem like a lot to some people, but when you are just trying to stay afloat, it makes a lot of difference.

Like I said, though, if we made marginally more we'd have no problem paying more taxes! Sure, we'd pay more, but it would also mean we have more income to work with and live on, and less of a daily struggle. The wealthy can definitely afford to pay a little more!
hammersxstrings 2nd-Jan-2013 02:01 pm (UTC)
See, I make...enough, especially since its just me and I don't own a house or something that takes that sort of maintenance. I can understand, from your perspective, why that is not at all optimal lol. Plus what the next two commenters said makes a lot of sense.
circumambulate 2nd-Jan-2013 09:27 am (UTC)
It's more a question of when. Nearly any tax reduction for mid/low income households goes straight back into the economy – its essentially economic stimulus. Rolling back to higher rates now would (could) chill the recovery.
baked_goldfish 2nd-Jan-2013 10:21 am (UTC)
What circumambulate said - tax cuts for middle- and working-class people have a greater multiplier effect on the economy than tax cuts for the wealthy. Like if a really rich person gets an extra $1,000 in tax cuts, they might not spend it immediately or they might put it towards something that doesn't have much economic benefit. But an average middle-class person knows exactly where they would put a spare $1,000 at all times, which means the cash would re-enter the economy very quickly and very concretely.

By keeping taxes low for most people but raising taxes on the wealthy, they're basically making it so that middle class and working class people (er, as well as some well-off people making $250k-$400k/year) can continue to buy stuff, pay down personal debt, etc. all while the government generates additional revenue from rich people who honestly weren't doing much with that extra cash anyway. If taxes were to raise on everyone everywhere, there'd be a whole mess of middle class and working class people trimming their budgets, spending less, which would slow down economic growth overall.
tadashee 2nd-Jan-2013 06:34 am (UTC)
Did anyone read the report that boehner told Reid to go fuck himself then bragged about it? Also, mccain's daughter cried outrage about it, then Andrew kazinski( don't know how to spell his last name) linked to a huffpo article about all the times her dad has dropped f bombs.
hammersxstrings 2nd-Jan-2013 06:35 am (UTC)
If it pisses the GOP off, it must be good.
mskye 2nd-Jan-2013 06:48 am (UTC)
For-fucking-real. I was nervous when I read the title of this article, but when I got to the republicans pouting I breathed a huge sigh of relief.
bellichka 2nd-Jan-2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
Meghan McCain's a fucking idiot who has no business going anywhere near politics. She has a gd degree in art history and has never taken a course in economics. She enrages me, because the only reason she's gotten anywhere is a) who her father is, and b) she's a cute blonde. The fact that she has worked for both the Daily Beast and MSNBC, while there are legitimate political journalists who actually know what the fuck they're talking about who can't get jobs there, is appalling to me.
alexvdl 2nd-Jan-2013 06:49 am (UTC)
This would be great and all, but the auto budget cuts are STILL on the table. They've just been pushed back another two months. So in two months time, we are likely to go through this ALL OVER AGAIN. Because Congress as a whole apparently can't do their job until the day that the economy is going to break. The Senate hasn't passed a budget bill in THREE YEARS. Since April 29th, 2009. Three years. And, you'll notice that April 29th is about 6 months AFTER FY 2009 started. As of September 22nd, 2012 they hadn't even had an appropriations bill reach the Senate floor so far this year.

Hell a full on Federal Budget hasn't been passed since 1997. We've just had a bunch of Continuing Resolutions and some Omnibus bills thrown together to feed money to the beast.

Congress needs to do their job. Not just the Democrats. Not just the Republicans. Congress as a whole. Pass a goddamn budget. Raise taxes. Cut spending. Get the economy in order. AND THEN after you do that, maybe you can worry about passing bills that take away our right to unlawful search and seizure, which is what you were doing instead. Oh, and Akins was trying to backdoor the DADT repeal. Good job, guy. Way to use the National Defense Authorization Act to further your bullshit agenda.

Sources:
http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/01/latest-updates-house-readies-for-fiscal-cliff-vote/?hpt=hp_t1
http://prospect.org/article/does-congress-even-need-pass-budget
http://www.politifact.com/tennessee/statements/2012/sep/28/bob-corker/bob-corker-says-senate-has-not-passed-budget-more-/
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/18/todd_akins_last_hurrah_a_way_around_the_dadt_repeal/

Edited at 2013-01-02 06:52 am (UTC)
hinoema 2nd-Jan-2013 06:57 am (UTC)
Hell a full on Federal Budget hasn't been passed since 1997.

Probably because this incremental adjusting keeps the House (which is Republican controlled only due to years of gerrymandering) in a position to literally cock-block to the entire government, giving them disproportionate power.
alexvdl 2nd-Jan-2013 07:02 am (UTC)
Except it didn't matter if the Democrats were in control of both Houses and the Presidency, or the Republicans were in control of both Houses and the Presidency, or they split the houses and there was in fact a President. We've had all three flavors, and NONE OF THEM have passed a budget.

http://www.dflorig.com/partycontrol.htm

circumambulate 2nd-Jan-2013 09:32 am (UTC)
Yup. I'm a confirmed "progressive" but people seem to forget that DNC controlled Congress for a lot of the Bush shenanigans, and created a lot of the current mess under Clinton.
loud99 2nd-Jan-2013 07:53 am (UTC)
And we get to do this all over again in 60 days. What's better...Obama and the Dems won't even have the tax issue on their side for leverage because of this deal. It's going to be painful to watch.
agentsculder 2nd-Jan-2013 10:00 pm (UTC)
It is, but what I'm hoping is that the GOP shenanigans surrounding this are going to wake the public up about how screwed up many of the GOP reps in the House are. I mean, the damn bill passed with only five Republicans voting against it in the Senate, but a majority of Republicans voted against it in the House. That's pretty fucked up. It's not like some of the GOP guys who voted for it in the Senate are what anyone would call liberal.

It tells me that the member of the GOP in the Senate are more prepared to do the right thing for the country than their buddies in the other chamber. It also tells me that John Boehner doesn't carry much weight with his caucus which would be hysterical if he wasn't the most powerful Republican in the US government.
layweed 2nd-Jan-2013 06:17 pm (UTC)
*golf clap*
lady_grace 2nd-Jan-2013 10:05 pm (UTC)
Unfortunately, the payroll tax cuts were NOT renewed, so most people are going to be paying more. I already know I'll be paying an additional $40/month because of it. This wouldn't be a big deal if I made more money...but I don't. :(
cparamo 2nd-Jan-2013 10:10 pm (UTC)
Here's some of the more interesting tax cuts for business interests that will come out of this deal, including breaks for NASCAR, Hollywood and Goldman Sachs. With so many corporate tax cuts extended, a payroll tax cut was allowed to expire, which means an estimated 125 million households will be bringing home a smaller paycheck in 2013. Also, looking at the numbers, taxes will be raised higher on those making between $20K-$200K than those making $200K-$500K. This is nothing more than a further concentration of wealth and yet another arbitrary milestone (the next one in a few months) on the way to dismantling what remains of the US social safety net. And as much as this community loves to fume over the big scary Republicans, this was a Democratic-made deal, passed by a Democratic Senate and passed with token resistance from Republicans in the House.
very_veggie 2nd-Jan-2013 10:58 pm (UTC)
I don't understand how this was a very good deal, though. Payroll taxes are going up, so everyone's going to pay more. The sequestration has been put off for a couple of months, but that has to be dealt with, along with the debt ceiling & the budget.

What do "payroll taxes" go toward anyway? Social Security? Medicare?
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