Congress stayed up late last night and at 10:35 p.m. voted 257 to 167 to approve the Fiscal Cliff compromise. And the good thing is that since taxes automatically went up for everyone when the day began, with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, Congressmen could keep their no-tax-hike pledges because their action was now a tax cut; that is, for everyone except those who make over $450,000. Also, people making over $250,000 may no longer claim the personal exemptions on their tax forms, so their taxes will go up slightly, allowing President Obama to keep his campaign promise.
The bill that had already been approved by the Senate also extended the Farm Bill, backing us away from the Dairy Cliff that would have doubled milk milk prices. The automatic spending cuts that were scheduled to go into effect when the Bush tax rates expired were postponed for two months. Nor does it raise the debt ceiling. Nor does it do much for the deficit. So the battles and brinkmanship will continue.