Well, Happy New Year everyone. It’s good to be back. I was seriously thinking of printing a blog over the New Year Holiday, but decided that whatever I had to say could wait. I did not do much on New Years Eve or New Years Day. I had to work, so I was in bed long before the Ball dropped. Had a nice dinner with the wife and a friend, and just relaxed with family for a while. I think it did me good.
But, it’s back to the grind. The Holiday is over. Our Nativity is down, and put away, that means our tree will not be far behind.
While the Ball was dropping of course we all were waiting to find out if we were falling off the cliff. Well, we didn’t. they waited at the edge for the whole of New Years day before the House finally voted in favor of a quick fix Bill, cobbled together by Mitch McConnell and VP Biden. The Senate did it’s part, and it looked as if the House was going to buckle. I thought sure they would. Those who read my last Blog for 2012 knew That I was not optimistic.
I felt then that I had good reason to feel as I did. It would all come down to the Tea Party and a hand full of Conservative Republicans who saw the light. Going over the Fiscal Cliff would have had a devastating impact on Wall St. as well as the folks back home dependent on unemployment checks. Other programs important to those most in need would have heard the sudden click of the switch going off as the deadline passed on. But as I said. Finally, wiser heads prevailed, and the cobbled Bill was passed. Conservative Republicans gulped and gave in. They did not, and made it clear that they did not like the Bill. It called for raised taxes on the rich, and that just made them ill.
I do not want to get this wrong Ladies and Gentlemen, I want to make sure my details are in order. So I went to Yahoo News for details of the Bill.
“Highlights of a tentative agreement between the White House and Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. , aimed at averting wide tax increases as well as budget cuts scheduled to take effect in the New Year. The measure would raise taxes by about $600 billion over ten years compared with tax policies hat expire at midnight, according to a Yahoo news report. It would also delay two months across the board spending cuts otherwise set to begin slashing budgets of the Pentagon and numerous other agencies of the Federal government”.
“Income tax rates; 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%, up from the current 35%. It 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 $300,000”
“Estate tax: Estates would be taxed at a top rate of 40%, with the first $5 million in value exempted for individual estates and $10 million for family estates”.
“Capital gains dividends: Taxes on Capital gains and dividend income exceeding $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 would increase from 15% to 20%”.
Alternative minimum tax: permanently addresses the alternative minimum tax and indexes it for inflation to prevent nearly 30 million middle-income tax payers from being hit with higher tax bills averaging almost $3,000.00. The tax was originally designed to ensure that the wealthy did not avoid owing taxes by using loop holes.
Other tax changes: Extends for five years the Obama-sought expansions of the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and up to $2,500 credit for college tuition. It extends for one year accelerated bonus depreciation of business investments in new property and equipment, a tax credit for research and development costs and a tax credit for renewable energy.
Extends unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed for one year.
Cuts Medicare reimbursements to doctors, blocks a 27 percent cut in Medicare payments to doctors for one year. The cut is the product of an obsolete 1997 budget formula.
Allows a two percentage point cut in the payroll tax first enacted two years ago to lapse, which restores the pay roll tax to 6.2 percent.
Delays for two months $109 billion worth of across the board spending cuts set to start striking the Pentagon and domestic agencies. The Yahoo Release said.
Many pendant’s however are angry over the bill because they wanted to see more cuts coming from the Obama Administration. They also wanted something concrete in dealing with Entitlements. They did not see it.
However, it is thought that now the Tea Party as well as Right leaning Conservative Republicans are going to wait until March of 2013 to grab hold of the Fiscal situation and push even harder to force the president’s hand. But President Obama has already made it clear that slashing away at Entitlements and Lower Income programs is off the table.
I found all this very interesting. As I listened to Talk radio today ranting about how horrific the Bill was. They also expressed dismay with Republicans who gave in to weak knees and voted for the Bill in an effort to avoid fiscal disaster. One program now uses the newest phrase to describe those who actually are in the know. Politically informed, I think that’s phrase. Basically those who are actually in the know are those who agree with Hard Right Political opinion. The rest of us, who happen to disagree with their Far Right approach to the rule of order, are non-informed. In short, Liberals are stupid!
I took this as an insult to my integrity, and grow tired of the constant ranting by the Republican Right who think they are the only ones who understand the fiscal situation, and are the only ones who can handle the problems. Based on Tea Party as well as Right Leaning Republican behavior over the passed four or five months I am of the opinion that they are NOT the adults in the room! As a matter of fact I am of the opinion that they are responsible for the paralization of Congress by their refusal to negotiate, and compromise on any legislation that has a hint of Obama’s name on it.
Further I feel they have violated their oath, to defend the Constitution of The United states as well as protect the National Security of the U.S. as well. I would venture to say that this is an impeachable offense, if not prosecutable. They have an obligation to protect this country and their behavior to instead hold this country hostage in an effort to get their way is incomprehensible. They should all be sanctioned, if not removed from the Senate and House.
Regardless of my opinion on the matter though, this problem will boil and bubble just under the surface until March of this year, then we go through the same old thing again.
I am not happy with this fiscal issue anymore than any of you are, I am sure. I also understand that we are going to have to deal with this problem whether we like it or not. I have some ideas of where we can start. However, I assure you they do not include ruthless, over-barring attacks on the poor and Middle Class fighting everyday to just stay afloat. That approach only makes matters worse. And they do not include those dependent on Social Security and Medicare.
I am working on my ideas, as small as they are, to not only put here on these pages, but also would be submitted to my Senators and Representative. My friends, it is time for us the People to get involved in this thing. We The People can no longer sit by watching Congress tear the very fabric from this country by stalling, and holding the country hostage because some lobby over here or over there say’s so. The Lobby might have the money, but remember this….You….The people have the VOTE.
That’s my point of view……..I look forward to your insights on the issue’s of the day. Until then, have a great day and as usual………God Bless America!