The Fiscal Cliff Deal That Can’t

Fiscal CliffReuters is reporting, Tentative “Fiscal Cliff” Deal Emerges in Senate. The devil is in the details, but it is at least not as bad as I had thought. In fact, dare I say it: it looks pretty good. If the Republicans were willing to take this all the time, what was the problem? The problem, I fear, is that the Republicans are not willing to take this deal.

Here are the main items:

  • It makes permanent the tax cuts on incomes below $450,000. (Meh.)
  • The estate tax will be increased. (Good, but by how much?)
  • Corporate tax incentives are extended. (Fine.)
  • The AMT will be permanently fixed. (About time!)
  • The sequester will be delayed for an undetermined amount of time. (Those Republicans really hate deficits, don’t they?!)
  • Extended unemployment benefits will be continued for another year. (Very good.)
  • Capital gains taxes will be raised from 15% to 23.8%. (Better than nothing. A lot better!)

So this deal look like it might be pretty damned good. And you know what that means…

The Republicans will kill it.

Afterword

This article may not have a long shelf life, unless I’m right. I’m not sure. Obviously, the deal can pass the Senate. It would be high-larious if McConnell ended up filibustering it! But I think that is asking too much. I suspect the deal can pass the House, because Democrats will vote for it in large numbers. But will Boehner really allow a vote on this? Won’t he risk losing his speakership if he allows that? We’ll know soon enough!

Update (31 December 2012 11:53 am)

Finally, I found the president’s speech that everyone is talking about:

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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