Congress scrambles back up the cliff

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.

via Congress approves ‘fiscal cliff’ measure – The Washington Post.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Roll call vote: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll659.xml

    Quite disappointed in my congressman. $1 of spending cuts for $41 dollars in tax increases (assuming no economic damage, ha!) is negotiation? The Muslim Brotherhood got a better deal than Boehner did.

  • http://www.necessaryroughness.org Dan at Necessary Roughness

    Roll call vote: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll659.xml

    Quite disappointed in my congressman. $1 of spending cuts for $41 dollars in tax increases (assuming no economic damage, ha!) is negotiation? The Muslim Brotherhood got a better deal than Boehner did.

  • http://twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt aletheist

    President Obama keeps talking about making sure that the wealthy pay their fair share to fix the federal government’s fiscal woes. Does this mean that he will now come out strongly in support of means-testing for Social Security and Medicare to help solve the long-term funding problems with these entitlements?

    Stop laughing! I don’t think so, either.

  • http://twitter.com/JonAlanSchmidt aletheist

    President Obama keeps talking about making sure that the wealthy pay their fair share to fix the federal government’s fiscal woes. Does this mean that he will now come out strongly in support of means-testing for Social Security and Medicare to help solve the long-term funding problems with these entitlements?

    Stop laughing! I don’t think so, either.

  • WebMonk

    aletheist – to be fair to the guy, means testing on SS and Medicare wouldn’t make much of a dent in the deficit. Wait – raising taxes on those making more than $450K per year isn’t going to make a dent either.

    Maybe this is all more about politics than actually addressing economic/financial issues?

    Naaaaahhhhhh. Our leaders wouldn’t just play politics, ignoring the real issues, would they?

  • WebMonk

    aletheist – to be fair to the guy, means testing on SS and Medicare wouldn’t make much of a dent in the deficit. Wait – raising taxes on those making more than $450K per year isn’t going to make a dent either.

    Maybe this is all more about politics than actually addressing economic/financial issues?

    Naaaaahhhhhh. Our leaders wouldn’t just play politics, ignoring the real issues, would they?

  • DonS

    Once again, we kick the can down the road and continue inflicting horrible pain on our children so that we ourselves continue to be blissfully anesthetized from feeling any.

    We should have gone over the cliff, absent a real agreement to put us on course for a balanced budget. But woe to anyone who dares to suggest that all of the voters feel the pain for the irresponsible voting choices they make.

  • DonS

    Once again, we kick the can down the road and continue inflicting horrible pain on our children so that we ourselves continue to be blissfully anesthetized from feeling any.

    We should have gone over the cliff, absent a real agreement to put us on course for a balanced budget. But woe to anyone who dares to suggest that all of the voters feel the pain for the irresponsible voting choices they make.

  • LAJ

    One problem of going over the fiscal cliff is all the cuts to defense it would entail. Our defense has already cut way back. I agree we can do more, but it would have decimated our military.

  • LAJ

    One problem of going over the fiscal cliff is all the cuts to defense it would entail. Our defense has already cut way back. I agree we can do more, but it would have decimated our military.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Rats! Now I‘m stuck with 20 gallons of hoarded milk.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Rats! Now I‘m stuck with 20 gallons of hoarded milk.

  • helen

    Rats! Now I‘m stuck with 20 gallons of hoarded milk.

    In your freezer, I hope! [That might last me a month.] :)

  • helen

    Rats! Now I‘m stuck with 20 gallons of hoarded milk.

    In your freezer, I hope! [That might last me a month.] :)


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