I don’t really think people making $400,000 per year are “wealthy.” It’s all symbolic, and it doesn’t do shit to reduce the deficit. Theater. Spending cuts? Where are they? It’s all BS.
While the Senate moved toward a vote on legislation to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, the House was not going to consider any deal until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest, meaning that a combination of tax increases and spending cuts would go into effect as 2013 began. If Congress acts quickly and sends the legislation to President Obama, the economic impact could still be very limited.
Under the agreement, tax rates would jump to 39.6 percent from 35 percent for individual incomes over $400,000 and couples over $450,000, while tax deductions and credits would start phasing out on incomes as low as $250,000, a clear win for President Obama, who campaigned on higher taxes for the wealthy.
“Just last month Republicans in Congress said they would never agree to raise tax rates on the wealthiest Americans,” Mr. Obama said at a hastily arranged news briefing, with middle-income onlookers cheering behind him. “Obviously, the agreement that’s currently being discussed would raise those rates and raise them permanently.”
Democrats also secured a full year’s extension of unemployment insurance without strings attached and without offsetting spending cuts, a $30 billion cost.
As negotiators tied up the last points of dispute, officials said that the two top Democrats on Capitol Hill — Senator Harry Reid of Nevada and Representative Nancy Pelosi of California — had signed off on the agreement. In an effort to win over other Democrats uneasy with the proposal, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who had bargained directly with Republican leaders, traveled to the Capitol on Monday night for a 90-minute meeting with his former Senate colleagues.