All eyes are on the so-called fiscal cliff: Jan. 1 some $680 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases kick in if House Republicans and the White House don’t reach a deficit reduction deal.
The Congressional Budget Office warns that it could cause a recession. Progressives say, step off the “fiscal cliff” and let the Bush tax cuts automatically expire, then give new tax relief to the middle class. Everybody, including the rich, would get lower rates up to $250,000 in income; above that, the rich would see rates revert to Clinton-era levels. The Bush cuts did not create jobs. They did, along with war, Medicare D and recession, blow a big hole in the deficit. Tax rates have relatively little affect on growth.
So far, the House GOP is fighting to preserve the Bush cuts, even though the White House has already given major ground on spending cuts. But while the meaning of the election can be debated, one thing that’s clear is that a majority voted for slightly higher rates on the rich (polls bear this out). Take heart, ye toffs, under the communist Eisenhower the top rate was above 90 percent to pay off the debt from World War II.
What would you do?
Read on for the best links of the week and the haiku:
This Week’s Links:
- The scariest jobs chart || The Atlantic
- Will Wall Street be punished? || Salon
- Wall Street’s impotent billionaires || NY Magazine
- Missing the bigger picture in Greece || Tim Duy’s Fed Watch
- Asian-Americans destroy the “maker-taker” narrative || Noahpinion
- Yes, inequality does affect growth || Next New Deal
- Jobless recoveries and the disappearance of routine occupations || Economist’s View
Today’s Econ Haiku:
Climate change will cost
Not just poor people elsewhere
Check our Sandy shore