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Fiscal Cliff Jan 1 2013, Budget Control Act
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Fiscal Cliff Jan 1 2013, Budget Control Act

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Apparently Mike's debt to GDP graph and the one I posted
are not even close to being the same. I just realized that.
Not sure which one is right. Wikipedia (Mike's) has a good
reputation.

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Last post for me. Just another link on the subject:

What Is the Fiscal Cliff? - Council on Foreign Relations

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Goldman Sees Fear of 'Cliff' Hitting Stocks Next Quarter - US Business News Blog - CNBC

Again, it seems like this is being blown way out of proportion, and is basically scaremongering tactics.

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BRIC man urges caution on $A, China

Mr O’Neill said he “admired” the US Federal Reserve for its latest round of quantitative easing (QE3) and praised ECB president Mario Draghi for showing the “first sign of leadership” by a European policymaker in two years. “If you’re going to do QE any more, it’s got to be something pretty much out of the ordinary,” he says of the Fed’s move. For the US to get back to pre-crisis, US dream-type growth, Mr O’Neill said something had to be done to unleash the confidence of the business sector and their large cash holdings.

“What’s missing is they’re not spending or employing in the US, and the only thing that can ultimately really do that is something to do with micro-policy and obviously fiscal policy in Washington. But the Fed’s move definitely helps, in my opinion, because the housing sector is already turning and this clearly is a further stimulus for the housing sector.”

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Mike

Here is a little more on the subject of the Fiscal Cliff and the economy in general.
The blue areas are comments by El-Erian on the Fiscal Cliff. The rest is a totally
optional read for those that have time/interest.




Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, a global investment management firm.

Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University



I don't agree or disagree at this point. It's just more information on the subject.
(The video/transcript is from the PBSNewsHour from yesterday. Link at bottom.)



JUDY WOODRUFF: Other economic indicators also paint a mixed picture.

The stock market itself, while down today, has been climbing in recent weeks, to its highest levels in nearly five years.

Today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost almost 49 points after a weak manufacturing report and worries over Europe, to close just over 13,437.

And the housing market may be stabilizing. A key index showed home prices rose in July to the highest level in almost two years, pointing to a recovery there.

Consumer spending was also up last month, but it was largely to pay for higher gasoline prices.

For a closer look at all this with two people who follow these things closely, we turn to Kenneth Rogoff, a professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University, and co-author of "This Time, It's Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly."

And Mohamed El-Erian, CEO of PIMCO, a global investment management firm, one of world's largest investors.

Gentlemen, thank you, to both of you, for being with us.

Mohamed El-Erian, let me start with you. There is so much information coming in, but it's not all pointing in the same direction. How do you see the strength of the economy?

MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, PIMCO: So, Judy, you're right. It's mixed information. If you were to bring it all together, we believe it points to a really sluggish economy.

By that, we mean growth of 1 percent. And there are both external and internal reasons for that. Externally, the headwinds are considerable. China is slowing. Europe is still in a debt crisis.

Internally, we are still dealing with the legacy of the financial crisis. We have had basically no policy-making out of Congress now for a long time.

And to make things even worse, the healthy parts of the economy, and there are quite a few, the healthy parts are not engaging because they're waiting to see how the fiscal cliff and other things are going to work out, so sluggish economy with the risk of stalled speed.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Ken Rogoff, is sluggish the main word you would use?

KENNETH ROGOFF, Harvard University: I think Mohamed El-Erian gave a pretty good description of what's going on.

I do think next year might look a little better. But I don't think we're going to be having fast growth for a very long time. The uncertainty around the world, in Europe, in the United States, in China is one thing.

The huge debt legacy from the financial crisis is another and the growing government debt.

That said, I mean, I wouldn't underestimate the upside, with the U.S. being such a creative economy. For example, energy prices have fallen a lot. And there are some other things you can point to on the upside.

But, so far, businesses have been very reluctant to invest heavily, very reluctant to hire heavily.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mohamed El-Erian, what do you see -- when you look at all this data coming in, what is most important to you?

MOHAMED A. EL-ERIAN: A few things, first, the employment picture, and not just whether we're creating jobs or not -- that's important -- but also what's happening to those who remain unemployed.

And that is a pretty worrisome picture. That's why I call it a crisis, because long-term unemployment is really high and youth unemployment is really high. And these are longer-term issues that we need to deal with. So the employment picture is very important.

Second, clarity for businesses. Today, no -- and do they have the confidence to invest? There is a ton of money, Judy, on the sideline, a ton of money. And if we can engage that money into the system, it will be great.

And then, third, as Ken rightly said, the global economy. We are facing severe headwinds. So a number of things to look at, and, as President Obama said in the report, if we manage to get -- bring things together, this economy can sprint. But it requires quite a bit of political work to bring things together.

JUDY WOODRUFF: We will pick up on that, Ken Rogoff. What would it take? And I'm curious about what you see that makes you think things could get better next year.

KENNETH ROGOFF: Well, this is just a very creative economy. And it's easier, especially for us economists, to see what can go wrong than to think of these out-of-the-box things, technology, the way globalization works, that can go right.

Certainly, though, there is still -- the housing is a problem. It's been stabilizing. I think that's been one of the good things, but there are still a lot of mortgages underwater. Consumer confidence is up, but I wouldn't count on it being so good that it's going to be getting us to 4 percent growth, to where we're feeling really good.

What I would like to see? Well, first of all, I would like to see tax reform in a way that keeps rates reasonable -- I don't know if they can be lowered -- and gets rid of deductions.

I would like to see spending on infrastructure that really is going to help us grow. I would like to see improvements in education.

Policy has been stalled for an extended period and a changing world. And we need to catch up. We have to prepare not just for having next year be good, but the next 10 years, the next 20 years.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Mohamed El-Erian, you talked a -- you spoke a minute ago about the money that's sitting on the sidelines. And I hear Ken Rogoff referring to that, too.

What is it going to take that shake that loose, to make people feel more confident, to make business owners feel that it's a good thing to invest?

MOHAMED A. EL-ERIAN: It's going to take what Ken said. And, critically, it's about a number of items that have to be addressed simultaneously.

You know, we like this notion maybe there's a shortcut, maybe there is a killer app, maybe there is this one thing. Well, there isn't.

It's taken us years to get into this mess. It's going to take us years to get out.

And we only get out through simultaneous progress on a number of areas. So, Ken spoke to fiscal reform. He spoke to infrastructure. He spoke to education.

I would add labor retraining and retooling. And I would also add fixing the credit pipes of this economy. So it's a long list. It requires simultaneous progress. And the longer we wait, Judy, the harder it gets.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And to end on a negative question, I guess, Ken Rogoff, what would prevent all of those things from happening?

KENNETH ROGOFF: Boy. Well, gridlock in Washington.

We could have no budget still in January. That's not going to be good for investment.

Europe has temporarily stabilized, but it looks pretty shaky if you are standing in Spain or Greece. The Chinese economy is not only slowing, it's in a political transition that no one knows how it's going to play out. The Middle East.

Like I said, Judy, there are lots of things we can think of that can go wrong. But I do think there is a balance because it is a very creative economy. There are also things that can go right.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, just finally to both of you, Mohamed El-Erian, as you put all this together, and you look at the beginning of 2013, 2014, what do you see?

MOHAMED A. EL-ERIAN: So, the first thing is, I tell the politicians, please remove the fiscal cliff, because if the fiscal cliff occurs, and we get 4 percent of GDP disorderly cuts in spending and then across-the-board increase in taxes, the U.S. will go into recession.

So, the first thing is, do no harm.

Second is, if we can get over that, I see an economy gradually picking up momentum. It's not going to be great. We're going to -- we're going to create jobs, not enough to really lower the unemployment issue. And, hopefully, we're going to start dealing with these longer-term issues.

So, like Ken, the thing I find most frustrating, Judy, is this is not a complicated issue. We can handle this. We can unleash the innovation, the entrepreneurship, the cash that is on the sideline. But it requires a political will and political coordination.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Ken Rogoff, quick last word.

KENNETH ROGOFF: Well, I mean, I think that the thing that confuses people is, we're not going to go off the fiscal cliff, but what direction are we going to go?

There's such different visions coming from the Republicans and the Democrats. Frankly, I think if either were to win decisively, it would be better off than having no policy. But we don't know what direction we're going. I think that is really what the issue is.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, on that question mark note, we will end it.

Ken Rogoff, Mohamed El-Erian, we thank you both.





Consumer Confidence Is Higher Than Before Despite Mixed Economic Numbers | PBS NewsHour | Sept. 28, 2012 | PBS

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as far as tax hikes go .....

“Taxmageddon” – the
date the largest tax hikes in the history of America will take effect. They
will hit families and small businesses in three great waves on January 1,
2013:

First Wave: Expiration of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In 2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts for small
business owners, families, and investors (later re-upped by President Obama
and Democrat Congress in 2010). The following tax hikes will occur on
January 1, 2013:

Personal income tax rates will rise on January 1, 2013. The top income tax
rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the rate at which the
majority of small business profits are taxed). The lowest rate will rise
from 10 to 15 percent. All the rates in between will also rise. Itemized
deductions and personal exemptions will again phase out, which has the same
mathematical effect as higher marginal tax rates. The full list of marginal
rate hikes is below:

-The 10% bracket rises to a new and expanded 15%

-The 25% bracket rises to 28%

-The 28% bracket rises to 31%

-The 33% bracket rises to 36%

-The 35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher taxes on marriage and family coming on January 1, 2013. The
“marriage penalty” (narrower tax brackets for married couples) will return
from the first dollar of taxable income. The child tax credit will be cut
in half from $1000 to $500 per child. The standard deduction will no longer
be doubled for married couples relative to the single level.

Middle Class Death Tax returns on January 1, 2013. The death tax is
currently 35% with an exemption of $5 million ($10 million for married
couples). For those dying on or after January 1 2013, there is a 55 percent
top death tax rate on estates over $1 million. A person leaving behind two
homes and a retirement account could easily pass along a death tax bill to
their loved ones.

Higher tax rates on savers and investors on January 1, 2013. The capital
gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 23.8 percent in 2013. The
top dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 43.4 percent in
2013. This is because of scheduled rate hikes plus Obamacare’s investment
surtax.

Second Wave: Obamacare Tax Hikes

There are twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Some have already gone
into effect (the tanning tax, the medicine cabinet tax, the HSA withdrawal
tax, W-2 health insurance reporting, and the “economic substance
doctrine”). Several more will go into effect on January 1, 2013. They
include:

The Obamacare Medical Device Tax begins to be assessed on January 1, 2013.
Medical device manufacturers employ 409,000 people in 12,000 plants across
the country. This law imposes a new 2.3% excise tax on gross sales – even
if the company does not earn a profit in a given year. Exempts items
retailing for <$100.

The Obamacare Medicare Payroll Tax Hike takes effect on January 1, 2013.
The Medicare payroll tax is currently 2.9 percent on all wages and
self-employment profits. Starting in 2013, wages and profits exceeding
$200,000 ($250,000 in the case of married couples) will face a 3.8 percent
rate.

The Obamacare “Special Needs Kids Tax” comes online on January 1, 2013.
Imposes a cap on FSAs of $2500 (now unlimited). Indexed to inflation after
2013. There is one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be
particularly cruel and onerous: parents of special needs children. There
are thousands of families with special needs children in the United States,
and many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs education. Tuition rates
at one leading school that teaches special needs children in Washington,
D.C. (National Child Research Center) can easily exceed $14,000 per year.
Under tax rules, FSA dollars can be used to pay for this type of special
needs education. This Obamacare cap harms these families.

The Obamacare “Haircut” for Medical Itemized Deductions goes into force on
January 1, 2013. Currently, those facing high medical expenses are allowed
a deduction for medical expenses to the extent that those expenses exceed
7.5 percent of adjusted gross income (AGI). The new provision imposes a
threshold of 10 percent of AGI. Waived for 65+ taxpayers in 2013-2016 only.

Third Wave: The Alternative Minimum Tax and Employer Tax Hikes

When Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of 2013,
they’ll be in for a nasty surprise—the AMT won’t be held harmless, and many
tax relief provisions will have expired. These tax increases will be in
force for BOTH 2012 and 2013. The major items include:

The AMT will ensnare over 31 million families, up from 4 million last year.
According to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index
the AMT will lead to an explosion of AMT taxpaying families—rising from 4
million last year to 31 million. These families will have to calculate
their tax burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level. The AMT was
created in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Full business expensing will disappear. In 2011, businesses can expense
half of their purchases of equipment. Starting on 2013 tax returns, all of
it will have to be “depreciated” (slowly deducted over many years).

Taxes will be raised on all types of businesses. There are literally scores
of tax hikes on business that will take place. The biggest is the loss of
the “research and experimentation tax credit,” but there are many, many
others. Combining high marginal tax rates with the loss of this tax relief
will cost jobs.

Tax Benefits for Education and Teaching Reduced. The deduction for tuition
and fees will not be available. Tax credits for education will be limited.
Teachers will no longer be able to deduct classroom expenses. Coverdell
Education Savings Accounts will be cut. Employer-provided educational
assistance is curtailed. The student loan interest deduction will be
disallowed for hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed. Under current law, a
retired person with an IRA can contribute up to $100,000 per year directly
to a charity from their IRA. This contribution also counts toward an annual
“required minimum distribution.” This ability will no longer be there.

Posted by Ryan Ellis on Friday, September 21, 2012 10:19 AM EDT

Read more: http://atr.org/days-taxmageddon-a7203#ixzz278C9xKzk"

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Americans face $3,500 fiscal cliff tax hit - Oct. 1, 2012

Mike

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From your link:
==============================================================
The range of average tax increases is enormous depending on one's income level.

The top 1% of households, which have incomes above $506,210, would face an increase of $121,000.
==============================================================

Of course you'll still hear the Democrats saying that the rich aren't paying their fair share.

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To my knowledge the Congressional Budget Office didn't see the Financial Crisis of 2007 or 8(?) coming
our way. But, I don't think anyone has sited the CBO yet on this topic so I've included some of their opinions
below, having a title only a statistician could love.


Economic Effects of Reducing the Fiscal Restraint That Is Scheduled to Occur in 2013 (may 22, 2012)

Policymakers are facing difficult trade-offs in formulating the nation’s fiscal policies. On the one hand, if the fiscal policies currently in place are continued in coming years, the revenues collected by the federal government will fall far short of federal spending, putting the budget on an unsustainable path. On the other hand, immediate spending cuts or tax increases would represent an added drag on the weak economic expansion.

In fact, under current law, increases in taxes and, to a lesser extent, reductions in spending will reduce the federal budget deficit dramatically between 2012 and 2013—a development that some observers have referred to as a “fiscal cliff”—and will dampen economic growth in the short term. CBO has analyzed the economic effects of reducing that fiscal restraint. It finds that reducing or eliminating the fiscal restraint would boost economic growth in 2013, but that adopting such a policy without imposing comparable restraint in future years would have substantial economic costs over the longer run.

How Substantial is the Fiscal Restraint in 2013?

CBO estimates that the combination of policies under current law will reduce the federal budget deficit by $607 billion, or 4.0 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), between fiscal years 2012 and 2013. The resulting weakening of the economy will lower taxable incomes and raise unemployment, generating a reduction in tax revenues and an increase in spending on such items as unemployment insurance. With that economic feedback incorporated, the deficit will drop by $560 billion between fiscal years 2012 and 2013, CBO projects.

If measured for calendar years 2012 and 2013, the amount of fiscal restraint is even larger. Most of the policy changes that reduce the deficit are scheduled to take effect at the beginning of calendar year 2013, so budget figures for fiscal year 2013—which begins in October 2012—reflect only about three-quarters of the effects of those policies on an annual basis. According to CBO’s estimates, the tax and spending policies that will be in effect under current law will reduce the federal budget deficit by 5.1 percent of GDP between calendar years 2012 and 2013 (with the resulting economic feedback included, the reduction will be smaller).

With that Fiscal Restraint, What Will Economic Growth Be in 2013?

Under those fiscal conditions, which will occur under current law, growth in real (inflation-adjusted) GDP in calendar year 2013 will be just 0.5 percent, CBO expects—with the economy projected to contract at an annual rate of 1.3 percent in the first half of the year and expand at an annual rate of 2.3 percent in the second half. Given the pattern of past recessions as identified by the National Bureau of Economic Research, such a contraction in output in the first half of 2013 would probably be judged to be a recession.

How Would Eliminating or Reducing the Fiscal Restraint Affect the Economy in the Short Run?

CBO analyzed what would happen if lawmakers changed fiscal policy in late 2012 to remove or offset all of the policies that are scheduled to reduce the federal budget deficit by 5.1 percent of GDP between calendar years 2012 and 2013. In that case, CBO estimates, the growth of real GDP in calendar year 2013 would lie in a broad range around 4.4 percent, well above the 0.5 percent projected for 2013 under current law.

How Would Eliminating or Reducing the Fiscal Restraint Affect the Economy in the Long Run?

However, eliminating or reducing the fiscal restraint scheduled to occur next year without imposing comparable restraint in future years would reduce output and income in the longer run relative to what would occur if the scheduled fiscal restraint remained in place. If all current policies were extended for a prolonged period, federal debt held by the public—currently about 70 percent of GDP, its highest mark since 1950—would continue to rise much faster than GDP.

Such a path for federal debt could not be sustained indefinitely, and policy changes would be required at some point. The more that debt increased before policies were changed, the greater would be the negative consequences—for the nation’s future output and income, for the burden imposed by interest payments on the federal debt, for policymakers’ ability to use tax and spending policies to respond to unexpected challenges, and for the likelihood of a sudden fiscal crisis. And the longer the necessary adjustments in policies were delayed, the more uncertain individuals and businesses would be about future government policies, and the more drastic the ultimate changes in policy would need to be.


What Might Policymakers Do Under These Circumstances?


They could address the short-term economic challenge by eliminating or reducing the fiscal restraint scheduled to occur next year without imposing comparable restraint in future years—but that would have substantial economic costs over the longer run. Alternatively, they could move rapidly to address the longer-run budgetary problem by allowing the full measure of fiscal restraint now embodied in current law to take effect next year—but that would have substantial economic costs in the short run. Or, if policymakers wanted to minimize the short-run costs of narrowing the deficit very quickly while also minimizing the longer-run costs of allowing large deficits to persist, they could enact a combination of policies: changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit in 2013 relative to what would occur under current law but that would reduce deficits later in the decade relative to what would occur if current policies were extended for a prolonged period.



CBO | Economic Effects of Reducing the Fiscal Restraint That Is Scheduled to Occur in 2013

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One senator is already talking about going over the fiscal cliff as a possibility. She also believes
that 98% of the country is in the middle class. What a moron.


===============================================================

The American middle class is a social class in the United States.[1][2] While the concept is typically ambiguous in popular opinion and common language use,[3] contemporary social scientists have put forward several, more or less congruent, theories on the American middle class. Depending on class model used, the middle class may constitute anywhere from 25% to 66% of households.


Seen from a sociological perspective based on class-cleavages, the majority of Americans can be described as members of the working class.

Definitions of the working class are confusing. Defined in terms of income, they may be split into middle-middle or statistical middle class in order to speak to issues of class structure. Class models such as Dennis Gilbert or Thompson and Hickey estimate that roughly 53% of Americans are members of the working or lower classes.

American middle class - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Working class (or lower class, labouring class, sometimes proletariat) is a term used in the social sciences and in ordinary conversation to describe those employed in lower tier jobs (as measured by skill, education and lower incomes), often extending to those in unemployment or otherwise possessing below-average incomes.

The term is usually contrasted with the upper class and middle class, in general terms of access to economic resources, education, cultural interests, and other goods and services.

Working class - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia




File:Patty Murray official portrait.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From National Public Radio Nov. 16, 2012

Steve Inskeep talks to Democratic Sen. Patty Murray about going over the fiscal cliff. As the head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, Murray helped the Democrats maintain their Senate majority. She has said that if Republicans do not agree to let tax cuts expire for those making over $250,000 per year, the country should go over the fiscal cliff.

Copyright © 2012 National Public Radio. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Listen carefully to both President Obama and Republican leaders, and you hear hints of room for compromise. They're talking of taxes and spending as a deadline approaches, December 31st, when higher taxes and spending cuts would take effect. That would reduce the federal deficit, but also damage the economy, according to forecasters.

Democrats are insisting on higher taxes for the wealthiest part of any deal, and some say, if necessary, they are willing to go over the so-called fiscal cliff. Richard Trumka, head of the AFL/CIO said yesterday, there is no fiscal cliff. He called it a manufactured crisis.

And then there's the view of our next guest. Democratic Senator Patty Murray will soon serve as chair of the Senate Budget Committee.

If you don't get the deal that you want, are you willing to go over the cliff, to go past January 1st without an agreement?


SENATOR PATTY MURRAY: Well, I think that it is extremely important to understand that none of us want to start next year with tax increases for Americans. But I can tell you this: Working families across this country don't want to say OK, we'll bear the burden of all this. We will have our Medicare impacted. We will have our education funding impacted.

I think the Republicans have to understand that the American people voted in this election for President Obama and a record number of senators who campaigned on saying everybody has to participate. If the Republicans say, no, we're going to put a little line in the sand and say the wealthiest Americans don't have to pay any increased revenue or be a part of this solution, then we will go past the December 31st deadline and begin over next year with addressing this challenge.
And any package that we put out there will be a tax cut, and I think Republicans will find themselves in a real box.

INSKEEP: I want to ask you about that, Senator, because it's been argued that you can go past January 1st - tax increases take a while to really take effect. Spending cuts take a while to really take effect. But I'm remembering that in 2011, one of the major reasons that the U.S. had its credit downgraded was that Congress and the White House could not agree on basic fiscal policy. Would it be catastrophic to the financial markets if you show you can't agree again by December 31st?

MURRAY: Well, it's puts us in a very different place if December 31st comes and goes, and all of the sudden the Bush tax cuts all expire and the revenue coming into the federal government increases dramatically across the board - including the wealthiest Americans, those who earn over $250,000 a year. That revenue stream coming in actually helps us solve a budget problem. Now, none of us want to see that happen, because average, middle-class Americans really cannot afford to see their tax burden go up next year. But it does put us in a different place in terms of revenue as part of how we balance our budget.

INSKEEP: So if the markets start gyrating, as they did a little bit right after the election, you're going to look past that?

MURRAY: I think we have to look long-term here at what a bad budget decision will do to our middle-class families and to our country if we agree to letting the wealthiest Americans off the hook for fear of what might happen on January 1st.

INSKEEP: Let me paraphrase what Republicans have been saying in recent days, Senator Murray. As I understand it, they've said, OK, we can talk about higher taxes for the wealthy, but as part of that discussion, we also need changes to entitlement programs - cuts, let's call them, to entitlement programs. Is it acceptable to you to have those on the table as part of this discussion?

MURRAY: Well, as you know, I chaired the supercommittee last year.

INSKEEP: Let's remind people that that was the committee that was supposed to come up with an agreement to avoid this very problem. Right. Go ahead.

MURRAY: And, in fact, Democrats put very serious proposals on the table to deal with our budget spending cuts and entitlements only if we had revenue to match that. That is why this question that is in front of us today is so important. Will the Republicans agree on extending the tax cuts for middle-class families - 98 percent of our country today - and say that those earning over 250,000 don't continue to get tax cuts on their earnings over 250,000 or not.

INSKEEP: You said balancing spending cuts with revenue, with tax increases. What's a ratio you can live with? Does it have to be 50-50? Can it be fewer tax increases than spending cuts, which is where most people have been in recent years?

MURRAY: Well, I think there is room for discussion there. The president, as well as leaders of Congress, will be determining that particular ratio. But it can't be 10 percent revenue, 90 percent spending cuts and entitlements. It has to be a much more fair and balanced - closer to 40 or 50 percent - for most of us to even consider it.

INSKEEP: Senator, I'm glad you mentioned that supercommittee that you were on late last year, because I mentioned on Twitter that I was going to be talking with you and asked if people had questions. And one question quickly came back: Why does she think that Congress can do any better now than they did with the supercommittee, which failed?

MURRAY: Well, I think what is going to allow us to get to a deal today that wasn't in place a year ago is this is now real. On December 31st, the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone. That's what we're trying to avoid from happening. But the Republicans can go in their corner and say no, no, no. We're going to vote for increased taxes. But if they do nothing, those increased taxes will take place. I think that box that they are now in allows us to move forward on a decision that I think will be much better for the country.

INSKEEP: Senator Patty Murray, thanks for the time.








Everyone 'Has To Participate' To Avoid Fiscal Cliff : NPR


Mike, maybe you should start a poll in December. I'm currently going with very likely. There has
been no spirit of compromise between Republicans and Democrats for many months.

Will the country go over the fiscal cliff?

Very likely
Likely
Toss-up
Unlikely
Very unlikely

Reply With Quote

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