No fiscal cliff vote in House tonight, members advised to stay close by Update: Senate vote tonight? Update: Deal reached to punt on sequester

posted at 5:31 pm on December 31, 2012 by Mary Katharine Ham

There will be no vote in the House Monday night, ensuring that we will indeed go cliff-diving, at least for a day. The good news is the possible deal will set up another year of mini-cliffs. Happy New Year! This is where we learn that those who made the argument this is a “fiscal slope” rather than a cliff were correct. With the markets closed Tuesday and some assurance a deal is within reach, the economy will not go into free fall tomorrow.

The House was not expected to vote on any measure Monday night, so the U.S. will technically be going over the “fiscal cliff” at midnight, sources told CNBC. The House GOP caucus was scheduled to meet late Monday afternoon, but focusing on relief from Hurricane Sandy.

Members have been advised to stick around, Boehner tweets, along with an icy assessment of the Senate:

Boehner is expected to give a statement when Republicans come out of their 5 p.m. meeting. Robert Costa does what everyone’s doing right now, reading the refreshments at the House GOP conference:

According to reporters outside the room, most GOP lawmakers are waiting to opine until they hear more details about the deal. National Journal takes the temperature as the GOP prepared to go into its meeting:

Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly of Virginia huddled near one of the fireplaces in the speaker’s lobby, chatting with reporters—it was chilly on the House floor, he said. Republican Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma talked into a TV camera near the statue of fellow Sooner-stater Will Rogers.

At the North end of the Capitol, Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl of Arizona ladled chicken Florentine soup into a throwaway container, grabbed a pack of crackers, and, when asked whether he was frustrated about the status of the fiscal-cliff talks, told a reporter, “Don’t talk to me now, please.”

So, yes, the mood on the Hill this New Year’s Eve is a mix of idle tension and expectation. Even though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Vice President Joe Biden are engaging in legislative alchemy to negotiate a fiscal-cliff exit ramp and optimism reigns–for now–it’s frustration that rules.

“There’s only two people in this town trying to solve the problem. The other 534 are sitting around waiting for somebody to agree to something in a back room. It ought to be done out in the open. The public’s business ought to be public,” Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said in an interview.

President Obama said negotiators are homing in on a deal to prevent across-the-board tax hikes after midnight. Even though it’s not done yet, details of what has been agreed to began to emerge.

Methinks some lawmakers shouldn’t be so cavalier about admitting their uselessness:

The sourness of being left out of talks is not limited to Republican senators. Their minority counterparts in the House are left wondering what’s next as well.

“Unfortunately, a majority of us are not involved in any of the negotiations, and we go back to our districts and people say, ‘What are you doing? What’s happening?’ And we’re waiting like anybody else,” said Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland.

As for details, there are no new spending cuts, only discussion of tax rates and how much more we’ll spend. There are wins for sanity in the mix (permanent AMT fix), but this is not a “deficit reduction” plan, folks. Welcome to this warped town. Negotiators will call it a plan to make “wiser” cuts than sequestration would have, but sentient beings are right to be concerned about whether they will ever materialize.

Molly Ball has a nice run-down of the basics, as does the National Journal. Read both for your basics in preparation for a vote tomorrow or for party banter tonight, if you’re going to a really crappy party.

I’ll update with Boehner’s statement when it comes.

Update (AP): More on the timeline from Robert Costa:

Update (MKH): If you’re interested enough to want to follow this throughout the night, Costa’s your man, by the way. According to various reporters outside meetings on the Hill, Sen. John McCain was asked “deal or no deal,” and he said “deal.” Sen. Jon Kyl is “hoping” for a vote tonight, and Sen. Johnny Isakson said “there’ll probably be a vote tonight on our side.”

Chad Pergram of Fox on the timing. The Senate is now looking for “pay-fors,” he said, to justify putting off sequestration cuts for two months.

Update (AP): Are they going to vote on a complete fiscal-cliff package, though? Or, as McConnell suggested earlier, just the tax portion? At the moment, the sequester is the sticking point.

Update (AP): Tea-party patience has run out.

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) lashed out at the upper chamber today as a symbol of government’s runaway power in Americans’ lives.

“It’s an alternate universe. No, this — this place is a joke. I mean, bottom line, this is an absurd process,” Johnson said on CNBC. “It certainly proves the genius of our founding fathers that government should be limited. I mean, the fact that we have this place having such an enormous effect on our economy, on people’s livelihood, is wrong. It’s simply wrong.”

“So, I’m the manufacturer. I’m always looking for the cause of problems. The cause of the problem is that government is far too large. It’s far too intrusive into our lives. It exerts way too much control over our economy, but that’s where we’re at. And, you know, I have no — I don’t know too many people that really think government’s effective or efficient. Why would they think the governing body of that government would be particularly effective or efficient as well?” he continued. “This is a mere symptom of the overall problem in a system of government that has become too large and too intrusive in our lives.”

Watch Rand Paul pile on, too. Quote: “What does the [Senate] Majority Leader say? ‘We won’t do anything about entitlements.” Oh great, this is going to be a real great solution. But we’re going to stick it to rich people! I hope nobody works for those rich people.”

Update (AP): Just to make this sham a little more of a sham, the spending-cuts portion of the cliff is now officially postponed.

“Sequestration will not be implemented for two months,” said Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

McCain said the $24-billion cost of delaying the sequester would be offset by other cuts so as not to add to the deficit, but those details remain unresolved.

“They haven’t ironed that out yet,” he said of the sequester.

Update (AP): Hmmmm:

Breaking on Hot Air

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Not a bad idea petefrt :)

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 7:06 PM

2) what makes you think the republicans wouldnt take the blame? He’d say the republicans were not allowing the debt ceiling (or whatever) to go up, and without which, we cant borrow money, and without that we cant send out SS checks. The media will repeat that, and the low information voters that re-elected him will sop it up.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Barackas Obama Ceasar could claim today that republicans bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, and within a month it would be true.

BobMbx on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Kicking the can once again

Cripe

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Silver linings for Dark Clouds:

AMT — Patching Done with forever

Cliff Solution — Could have been worse (450K will hurt fewer small businesses than 250K)

2012– Good set up for a better 2013 (Tough to see how it would be worse)

HAPPY NEW YEAR FRIENDS

KW64 on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Right McCain keep believing that crapola

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 7:10 PM

MarshFox on December 31, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Thanks for your service.

davidk on December 31, 2012 at 7:11 PM

Kicking the can once again

Cripe

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

sounding like there may be a series of “mini-kicks” this time.

Tim_CA on December 31, 2012 at 7:12 PM

Update (AP): Just to make this sham a little more of a sham, the spending-cuts portion of the cliff is now officially postponed.

“Sequestration will not be implemented for two months,” said Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

McCain said the $24-billion cost of delaying the sequester would be offset by other cuts so as not to add to the deficit, but those details remain unresolved.

“They haven’t ironed that out yet,” he said of the sequester.

Update (AP): Hmmmm:

Chad Pergram
@ChadPergram Biden coming to the Hill to talk to Senate D’s about #fiscalcliff . Senate D’s still haven’t signed off. He may have to do some convincing.

Ok, this is a cowardly kick it down the road, but Obama wanted a year, and the DEMS are balking at two months?

Wethal on December 31, 2012 at 7:12 PM

US House adjourns until 12 pm ET on Tuesday – @ChadPergram, @mpoindc

31 mins ago by editor
===========================

Chad Pergram
@ChadPergram

Chad Pergram covers Congress for FOX News. He’s won an Edward R. Murrow Award and the Joan Barone Award for his reporting on Capitol Hill

https://twitter.com/ChadPergram
================================

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 7:13 PM

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:02 PM

Barackas Obama Ceasar could claim today that republicans bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, and within a month it would be true.

BobMbx on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

So then what do we do, give up? The MSM didn’t control the narrative in ’09 and ’10. The tea party message was popular and could be again, the problem is that the tea party was squashed and has been the GOP establishment ever since. The GOP establishment is not popular and hasn’t been for many years. If there were Republicans who were fighting like they were in ’09 and ’10 then their message will be received regardless of the MSM. The ’10 victory proved it.

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 7:14 PM

@KeirSimmons tweeted:
Happy New Year from London!!! http://t.co/4z4AgL69

2 mins ago from twitter.com by editor

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 7:14 PM

*shaking the head* oww
Tim in CA

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 7:14 PM

sources told CNBC. The House GOP caucus was scheduled to meet late Monday afternoon, but focusing on relief from Hurricane Sandy.

Oh nos, they’re not going to pass that bloated relief bill that provides “hurricane relief” to Alaskan fisheries, are they?

Wethal on December 31, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Ok, this is a cowardly kick it down the road, but Obama wanted a year, and the DEMS are balking at two months?

Wethal on December 31, 2012 at 7:12 PM

The Rats are balking because McConnell wants “equivalent” cuts. The SCOAMF plan was no cuts at all for 2013 (except maybe for some defense cuts).

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 7:15 PM

Oh nos, they’re not going to pass that bloated relief bill that provides “hurricane relief” to Alaskan fisheries, are they?

Wethal on December 31, 2012 at 7:15 PM

That gets voted on tomorrow.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Senators Johnson and Paul are my two new heroes in the Senate.

Othniel on December 31, 2012 at 7:16 PM

McCain, you must walk away from this. You’re being played. Or are you really as stupid as you play yourself on TV?

dogsoldier on December 31, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Good News from the UnionGoonions…(sarc)

Sam Stein ‏@samsteinhp

Breaking: AFLCIO urges Democrats to put brakes on a fiscal cliff deal for the time being http://huff.to/10GvKw6

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 7:18 PM

~60mins until “GTFO, 2012″ pizza!

Jeddite on December 31, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Kicking the can once again

Cripe

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Yep, there’s no way the Democrats or Obama are serious about reducing the national debt. Little Barry pretty much said that in his “campaign presser” today—talk about a New Years Eve Comedy, but they all should have been in white straight-jackets.

Happy New Year cms

Rov

Rovin on December 31, 2012 at 7:22 PM

Oh crap,ahem,too funny………………..

HH ‏@hch242

How Many Times Does America Have to Go Over the Fiscal Cliff Before the Concussion Kills Us? http://is.gd/ZqjtHG
============================================

How Many Times Does America Have to Go Over the Fiscal Cliff Before the Concussion Kills Us?
Dec 31 2012
***********

http://www.conservativedailynews.com/2012/12/how-many-times-does-america-have-to-go-over-the-fiscal-cliff-before-the-concussion-kills-us/

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 7:23 PM

Barackas Obama Ceasar could claim today that republicans bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, and within a month it would be true.

BobMbx on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

Every democrats speech from the whole bush term has gone down the memory hole. Every time they said that borrowing money was generational theft, that undeclared wars were immoral and illegal, every time they said that raising the debt limit was a failure of leadership… never mentioned by the press, never remembered by anyone.

Hell, they’re even blaming FY 09 w/ the stimulii and the half of tarp obama spent on Bush.

They’re re-writing history almost as soon as it happens. And people don’t seem to notice / care.

So then what do we do, give up? The MSM didn’t control the narrative in ’09 and ’10. The tea party message was popular and could be again, the problem is that the tea party was squashed and has been the GOP establishment ever since. The GOP establishment is not popular and hasn’t been for many years. If there were Republicans who were fighting like they were in ’09 and ’10 then their message will be received regardless of the MSM. The ’10 victory proved it.

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 7:14 PM

The media still controlled the narrative, and the turned the rest of the country against the tea party. Establishment DC republicans were always against the tea party, and I’d guess a fair share of the republicans elected (or re-elected) in ’10 running as a tea party candidate just said what their consultants told them polled well.

Very few of them believed what they told us they did. Clearly. They promised to cut 100 billion in real cuts immediately. How much did they cut? 1 Billion (in not really real cuts). They could have defunded any or all of Obamas agenda at any time. They havent. They could have drawn a line in the sand on the highest they were willing to go with a debt limit. They havent.

Exhausting.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:25 PM

McCain, you must walk away from this. You’re being played. Or are you really as stupid as you play yourself on TV?

dogsoldier on December 31, 2012 at 7:18 PM

What makes you think mccain cares about anything other then his own power and his own image of himself as a pragmatic, compromising type, that will go down in history as a great deal maker?

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Kicking the can once again

Cripe

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 7:08 PM

cmsinaz:****Happy New Year *****:)

Accurate you is,and another Captian KickAss Operation,….aka.

FU BO The Clown!

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 7:28 PM

“Sequestration will not be implemented for two months,” said Sen. John McCain

Fascist POS!

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 7:30 PM

They don’t want to lower the debt. They want it as high as they can get it.

wolly4321 on December 31, 2012 at 7:30 PM

So it’s really a win/win/lose situation. Win for obama, win for boehner, lose for us.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 5:40 PM

Do you think that anyone is going to eventually notice that a win for Boehner usually is a win for Obama too, but it never is a win for us?

in re: the argument as to whether Teh Won a) would threaten and/or halt SSA checks to pressure the Institutional Republicans to cave, and b) whether he or anyone else on the Left care that it is illegal; there was something in the New York Times today that sheds light on it. They published an editorial openly calling for the abandonment of the Constitution as the way we run our government. They say it is old, obsolete, and hampers the government getting things done. If they are willing to be this blatant, the end game is near.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/31/opinion/lets-give-up-on-the-constitution.html

What was that about “preserve, protect, and defend”?

Subotai Bahadur on December 31, 2012 at 7:33 PM

They don’t want to lower the debt. They want it as high as they can get it.

wolly4321 on December 31, 2012 at 7:30 PM

Yup. For two main reasons: 1) the “true believers” think these Keynesian policies will actually work 2) the cloward-piven types are trying to collapse the US economy in order to rebuild the country in their image.

The rest of congress just wants power and more control and doesn’t care about the larger picture or what happens by the time they’re collecting their congressional pensions writing their memoirs.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:34 PM

At Midnight tonight, Their carriages all turn back into pumpkins Piles of Crap Obama Volts.

portlandon on December 31, 2012 at 6:50 PM

FIFY. :-)

Resist We Much on December 31, 2012 at 7:34 PM

The media still controlled the narrative, and the turned the rest of the country against the tea party.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:25 PM

No, the tea party was weathering the attacks just fine until many of the TP freshmen voted to raise the debt ceiling and failed to keep it’s promise to cut spending. When the tea party joined the GOP establishment it became as unpopular as the GOP establishment.

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 7:36 PM

… I have thought for years now that we may have been better with an amended version of the Articles of Confederation, then maybe we would still be a Republic, vice having our freedoms bought and sold at market in DC by the ruling class of elites!

MarshFox on December 31, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Welcome back! I’ve always been partial to the Anti-Federalists myself.

Happy New Year!

Resist We Much on December 31, 2012 at 7:37 PM

What Ron Johnson said!

I said the same thing to the relatives at Christmas and was roundly booed. No reasonable arguments, just boos and…pie.

PattyJ on December 31, 2012 at 7:37 PM

No, the tea party was weathering the attacks just fine until many of the TP freshmen voted to raise the debt ceiling and failed to keep it’s promise to cut spending. When the tea party joined the GOP establishment it became as unpopular as the GOP establishment.

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 7:36 PM

Well, that certainly didn’t help them with fiscally conservative / libertarian independents and fiscally conservative republicans, thats for sure. They would definitely have more credibility if they hadn’t dropped the tea party mantle within 10 minutes of their acceptance speeches on election night.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:34 PM

The 2014 mid-terms are going to be “interesting” to say the least. Want to bet the Tea Party Patriots go on an all out purge of these charlatans that call themselves Conservative Republicans?

Rovin on December 31, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Jeez louise, crappy new year.

Fallon on December 31, 2012 at 7:43 PM

You voted for these tax raisin republican morons. Hope you are satisfied.

paulsur on December 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM

“This is a mere symptom of the overall problem in a system of government that has become too large and too intrusive in our lives.”

May all tyrants’ heads esplode into millions of smithereens.

Schadenfreude on December 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM

The 2014 mid-terms are going to be “interesting” to say the least. Want to bet the Tea Party Patriots go on an all out purge of these charlatans that call themselves Conservative Republicans?

Rovin on December 31, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Maybe. But I think historical momentum is way against small government types anyways, so I don’t really hold out much hope for the class of ’14 to turn washington dc around anymore then the class of ’10 did.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:47 PM

You voted for these tax raisin republican morons. Hope you are satisfied.

paulsur on December 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Yeah, I’m done voting for republicans. it doesn’t change anything at the end of the day.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM

You voted for these tax raisin republican morons. Hope you are satisfied.

paulsur on December 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Raisin Bran Flakes.

Fallon on December 31, 2012 at 7:55 PM

Every democrats speech from the whole bush term has gone down the memory hole. Every time they said that borrowing money was generational theft, that undeclared wars were immoral and illegal, every time they said that raising the debt limit was a failure of leadership… never mentioned by the press, never remembered by anyone.

Hell, they’re even blaming FY 09 w/ the stimulii and the half of tarp obama spent on Bush.

They’re re-writing history almost as soon as it happens. And people don’t seem to notice / care.

Exhausting.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:25 PM

It’s called “Predictable History, Unpredictable Past” and soooo very Russian.

“What we remember is not what actually happened, not history, but those hackneyed impressions that they tried to hammer into our heads by constant repetition.”

- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago

“Russia is a country with an unpredictable past.”

- Sir Winston Churchill

“We live in a country with an unpredictable past.”

- Iurii Afanasiev, Russian historian and political figure

Churchill once said that history would be kind to him because he intended to write it. With the Left, not only can we assuredly predict what they will do in 10 years, we know what they will claim then that they did today. Fortunately for them, most of the historians are of their own persuasion and thicken the fog making the past unpredictable and surprising for those that actually seek the truth.

Resist We Much on December 31, 2012 at 7:56 PM

Resist We Much on December 31, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Thank You RWM, we are, watching the LSU vs Clemson right now, Mrs. MarshFox(not her real name) is sick but we are enjoying what remaining time we have left, and then I will be back home in the spring for good. As to the anti-federalist, they most certainly were prophetic were they not?

MarshFox on December 31, 2012 at 7:56 PM

What the Senate needs are more principled fiscal conservatives like Allen West….oh wait…

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/09/13/freshmen-house-republicans-split-on-continuing-resolution

Mr. Arrogant on December 31, 2012 at 7:58 PM

‘Twas the Night Before Cliffmas

theperfecteconomist on December 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM

I hate poetry.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 7:59 PM

You voted for these tax raisin republican morons. Hope you are satisfied.

paulsur on December 31, 2012 at 7:46 PM

I hope the tea party and liberty movement will primary as many progressive-tax-raising Republicans as possible. It’s one thing to increase revenues by flattening the income tax code as the GOP used to support, but it’s another to vote yes on a bill that makes the income tax more progressive and less flat while getting nothing for the American people in return. All the GOP cares about is keeping the corporate welfare payments to their cronies flowing at a faster pace each year. They are going to break their oaths to their voters by increasing progressive taxation in order to avoid disappointing the crooks who finance their billion dollar campaigns. Government of the cronies, not the people.

Republicans should embrace the fiscal cliff and make the Democrats fight long and hard to cut taxes in a progressive way in the new year. Raise or lower all the taxes equally or none at all. Flatten the tax code or no votes from Republicans. Frankly the GOP should all be pushing for the fair-tax at every opportunity, IMO. They should ask the Democrats why not? That’s what blue Washington State has and it works great up here. It’s far superior and less un-American than the income tax. Let’s enjoin the debate, it will be a good position to negotiate from.

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 8:05 PM

If the deal is as described on Townhall, then it will be a net tax increase on huge numbers of middle class Americans.

There will be no change in their marginal rates, but their payroll tax will increase by 2%, back to 6.25%. So everything else being equal, a person making 50,000 a year wil be paying more in taxes than he or she is right now.

How this does not count as a tax increase, I do not know.

When I called my (Republican) Representative’s office, I was asked to consider how much worse it could be, and that this wss being used as leverage for spending cuts.

I’m used to that fool in the White House lying to me. But it troubles me greatly that Republicans are preparing to leaving one tax rate as it is, while raising another on overwhelming numbers of working, middle class citizens. And the only explanation is that it could be worse.

EastofEden on December 31, 2012 at 8:13 PM

Happy New Year Rovin and Canopfor

:)

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 8:17 PM

Flatten the tax code or no votes from Republicans. Frankly the GOP should all be pushing for the fair-tax at every opportunity, IMO. They should ask the Democrats why not? That’s what blue Washington State has and it works great up here. It’s far superior and less un-American than the income tax. Let’s enjoin the debate, it will be a good position to negotiate from.

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 8:05 PM

Because no one in washington wants a fair tax or a flat tax. What influence would they be able to sell if they couldnt write favors in to the tax code for campaign donations and cushy board jumps after they retire?

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:19 PM

Happy New Year Rovin and Canopfor

:)

cmsinaz on December 31, 2012 at 8:17 PM

cmsinaz:—–:O)

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Because no one in washington wants a fair tax or a flat tax. What influence would they be able to sell if they couldnt write favors in to the tax code for campaign donations and cushy board jumps after they retire?

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:19 PM

I know, that’s a point I’ve made several times over the years myself, but the Republican base is always claiming that they have mystical powers to “hold their feet to the fire”, so let’s prove or disprove it.

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I’m all for the Fair tax. Have Boortz and Linders book right here. Now if we can just sell obamaphone lady on the finer points of it.

But I fear she won’t listen, and war looms.

wolly4321 on December 31, 2012 at 8:26 PM

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Happy New Year 2U2 canopfor. Thanks so much for your contributions to all of us over the years……you’re a gem.

Rov

Rovin on December 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM

There will be no change in their marginal rates, but their payroll tax will increase by 2%, back to 6.25%. So everything else being equal, a person making 50,000 a year wil be paying more in taxes than he or she is right now.

How this does not count as a tax increase, I do not know.

When I called my (Republican) Representative’s office, I was asked to consider how much worse it could be, and that this wss being used as leverage for spending cuts.

I’m used to that fool in the White House lying to me. But it troubles me greatly that Republicans are preparing to leaving one tax rate as it is, while raising another on overwhelming numbers of working, middle class citizens. And the only explanation is that it could be worse.

EastofEden on December 31, 2012 at 8:13 PM

No. Obama temporary slowed the cash from flowing into the “social security fund” by lowering rates by 2%. I have no problem with them going back up. Mainly because the low info obama voters should be paying taxes and not getting a tax cut of any kind. For those of us paying a lot in income taxes, the 2% in payroll taxes will be a minor annoyance, but not life changing.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

‘Twas the Night Before Cliffmas

theperfecteconomist on December 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Get him!

Chuck Schick on December 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

“Sequestration will not be implemented for two months,” said Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Ya know what? F*ck “let it burn”.

It’s time for “make it burn”.

Midas on December 31, 2012 at 8:31 PM

T-Minus…………………..

Fiscal Cliff Countdown Countdown Clock
**************************************

http://countingdownto.com/countdown/176446

canopfor on December 31, 2012 at 8:34 PM

I heard on Fox that Frankin and Harkin are not liking this either. Right and left not happy…well, except for Obama and all he cares about is who gets the blame or the credit.

Terrye on December 31, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) lashed out at the upper chamber today as a symbol of government’s runaway power in Americans’ lives.

“It’s an alternate universe. No, this — this place is a joke. I mean, bottom line, this is an absurd process,” Johnson said on CNBC. “It certainly proves the genius of our founding fathers that government should be limited. I mean, the fact that we have this place having such an enormous effect on our economy, on people’s livelihood, is wrong. It’s simply wrong.”

This is true, but our founding father also created a government of checks and balances that requires a certain amount of give and take. Or it is supposed to work that way anyway.

Terrye on December 31, 2012 at 8:38 PM

So we’ve just had two months worth of drama to get to a deal that raises taxes on $450k+ instead of $250k plus with no spending cuts.

Mark1971 on December 31, 2012 at 8:39 PM

No. Obama temporary slowed the cash from flowing into the “social security fund” by lowering rates by 2%. I have no problem with them going back up. Mainly because the low info obama voters should be paying taxes and not getting a tax cut of any kind. For those of us paying a lot in income taxes, the 2% in payroll taxes will be a minor annoyance, but not life changing.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Correct.

0bama should never have done it to begin with.

That and the AMT fix are two positives I see, so far.

cane_loader on December 31, 2012 at 8:40 PM

I have thought for years now that we may have been better with an amended version of the Articles of Confederation, then maybe we would still be a Republic, vice having our freedoms bought and sold at market in DC by the ruling class of elites!

MarshFox on December 31, 2012 at 6:52 PM

Yes. If under the Articles, we could have survived to this day, then certainly this day we’d be better off.

petefrt on December 31, 2012 at 8:41 PM

‘Twas the Night Before Cliffmas

theperfecteconomist on December 31, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Nicely done.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 8:41 PM

No spending cuts in a country deeply in debt and without a budget since 2009?

A deep disgrace – no way around it.

The last two Congresses shall go down in infamy.

Harry Reid should be remembered as a traitor… no better than Benedict Arnold.

At least Arnold won the Battle of Lake Champlain, and wasn’t a not-unproven child molester.

cane_loader on December 31, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I apologize for sounding defeated. I’m not worried about 2014 elections. I’m worried about the next year. What I see in total scares the crap out of me. I don’t think we get out of this one without a lot of hurt. You can talk about what DC should do all you want. It’s an out of control behemoth and they aren’t listening. To them,, it’s THIER money. Who thinks a 55% “estate tax” is moral? Small farmers don’t. I have no estate, I don’t. So many other things, I can barely keep up.

It’s totally out of control and dangerous.

wolly4321 on December 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM

I am officially a Rand Paul fan. That speech is fantastic. He needs to be out there shouting that from the mountaintops. He’s exactly right…this is about class envy, and nothing more.

changer1701 on December 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM

More from Chad Pergram: – Senate Budget Committee chair Max Baucus (say, is there a less-worked committee in the Senate?) says paying for the 2-month sequester put-off and indexing the 40%/$5 million floor death tax are dealbreakers. Phil Kerpen notes that Baucus tells his suck…er, voters back in Montana that he supports full death tax repeal.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 8:45 PM

I heard on Fox that Franken and Harkin are not liking this either. Right and left not happy…well, except for Obama and all he cares about is who gets the blame or the credit.

Terrye on December 31, 2012 at 8:35 PM

Can’t be all bad if those two don’t like it.

Wethal on December 31, 2012 at 8:47 PM

This is true, but our founding father also created a government of checks and balances that requires a certain amount of give and take. Or it is supposed to work that way anyway.

Terrye on December 31, 2012 at 8:38 PM

It was supposed to work in a way where no one could jam through legislation quickly and easily. Not to encourage “compromise” but to try to ensure no laws were passed that infringed on the minorities’ rights. The idea was that even if 51 senators could come together to compromise to steal more money from the highest earning 2%, the house could still stop it.

Who thinks a 55% “estate tax” is moral? Small farmers don’t. I have no estate, I don’t. So many other things, I can barely keep up.

It’s totally out of control and dangerous.

wolly4321 on December 31, 2012 at 8:44 PM

Agree that the estate tax is immoral and absurd. That being said, I’ll care more about “small farmers” as soon as they vehemently come out against ag subsidies, and stop using the iowa caucuses to encourage / force every candidate to be pro-ethanol.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:50 PM

Senate Budget Committee chair Max Baucus (say, is there a less-worked committee in the Senate?) says paying for the 2-month sequester put-off and indexing the 40%/$5 million floor death tax are dealbreakers. Phil Kerpen notes that Baucus tells his suck…er, voters back in Montana that he supports full death tax repeal.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 8:45 PM

If Republicans are as serious as they claim about cutting spending, how is the sequester not a no-brainer? It doesn’t even truly cut spending, only the rate of growth. If they push to keep that extra increase in spending in the budget, they’re showing us how serious they are about cutting the size of govt.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:52 PM

So then what do we do, give up?

FloatingRock on December 31, 2012 at 7:14 PM

Looks to me like it’s time for the nuclear option. We organize for a third party run, groom a solid candidate (Rand Paul or ilk), and make our demands for reform on GOP. If we can agree, we rejoin GOP. If not, we pull the plug.

petefrt on December 31, 2012 at 8:53 PM

Looks to me like it’s time for the nuclear option. We organize for a third party run, groom a solid candidate (Rand Paul or ilk), and make our demands for reform on GOP. If we can agree, we rejoin GOP. If not, we pull the plug.

petefrt on December 31, 2012 at 8:53 PM

First idea I’ve heard that I can get behind in a while. Only if it’s Rand Paul or someone with very similar beliefs though. No Karl Rove money involved, no mccain / romney advisers in sight.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:56 PM

If Republicans are as serious as they claim about cutting spending, how is the sequester not a no-brainer? It doesn’t even truly cut spending, only the rate of growth. If they push to keep that extra increase in spending in the budget, they’re showing us how serious they are about cutting the size of govt.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:52 PM

If memory serves, sequester does cut the absolute dollars on the defense side (and only on the defense side). The McConnell contribution is “equivalent” “cuts” in lieu of a sequester for 2 months while they bicker over a more-permanent replacement, though I note that new spending in the forms of extended 99-week funemployment benefits, “Sandy” “relief” (including Alaskan fisheries) and expanded Solyndra Memorial Renewable Energy Tax “Credits” overwhelm that.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 8:58 PM

No Karl Rove money involved, no mccain / romney advisers in sight.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:56 PM

No question. They are the rut we’ve been stuck in. Dem lite.

petefrt on December 31, 2012 at 9:05 PM

The word is we have a deal. Looks like they split the last 2 sticking points:

- Death tax of 40%/$5 million floor WILL be indexed.
.- It appears the 2-month hold on the sequester WILL NOT be replaced with “equivalent” “cuts”.

That’s right, sports fans, the typical DC rules apply – when talking about deficit reduction, ALWAYS include fresh spending hikes.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Oh yeah – the House Republicans get to assume blame for the few hours we will technically be over the cliff.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:14 PM

No. Obama temporary slowed the cash from flowing into the “social security fund” by lowering rates by 2%. I have no problem with them going back up. Mainly because the low info obama voters should be paying taxes and not getting a tax cut of any kind. For those of us paying a lot in income taxes, the 2% in payroll taxes will be a minor annoyance, but not life changing.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

… and Obamacare taxes, and more regulations, and …

The economy at large will not share your perspective, I think.

Midas on December 31, 2012 at 9:15 PM

If memory serves, sequester does cut the absolute dollars on the defense side (and only on the defense side). The McConnell contribution is “equivalent” “cuts” in lieu of a sequester for 2 months while they bicker over a more-permanent replacement, though I note that new spending in the forms of extended 99-week funemployment benefits, “Sandy” “relief” (including Alaskan fisheries) and expanded Solyndra Memorial Renewable Energy Tax “Credits” overwhelm that.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 8:58 PM

According to several things I’ve read, and what Senator Paul said earlier today, it is all normal DC cuts. As in, cuts in the rate of growth. I suppose I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Defense absolutely needs to be cut along with everything else. As someone who works for a company that is a vendor for the federal government… trust me, there is a LOT of money wasted by the dod.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 9:16 PM

Check last – Ed Henry reporting that the 2-month “pause” in sequester will be covered by 25% cut in defense, 25% cut in non-defense, 50% from the tax hikes. Translation – more spending.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:18 PM

No. Obama temporary slowed the cash from flowing into the “social security fund” by lowering rates by 2%. I have no problem with them going back up. Mainly because the low info obama voters should be paying taxes and not getting a tax cut of any kind. For those of us paying a lot in income taxes, the 2% in payroll taxes will be a minor annoyance, but not life changing.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Thankfully, I’ll have to explain this only one more time – the FICA/SECA holiday did not reduce the amount of money received by SocSecurity by so much as $0.01. The general fund (i.e. Treasuries sold on the open market) replaced every penny not collected due to the FICA/SECA holiday.

Of course, that meant that the Treasury borrowed money twice, and we’re paying double interest on it.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:21 PM

Senate D’s are gonna kill this…

crazywater on December 31, 2012 at 9:33 PM

… and Obamacare taxes, and more regulations, and …

The economy at large will not share your perspective, I think.

Midas on December 31, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Well, the economy at large is boned as it is. Might as well screw the Obama voters while we’re at it, since we’re all going down together.

Thankfully, I’ll have to explain this only one more time – the FICA/SECA holiday did not reduce the amount of money received by SocSecurity by so much as $0.01. The general fund (i.e. Treasuries sold on the open market) replaced every penny not collected due to the FICA/SECA holiday.

Of course, that meant that the Treasury borrowed money twice, and we’re paying double interest on it.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:21 PM

I was using a bit of washington-logic there. There is never cash in SS, its all treasury bonds that will need to be rolled over and refinanced as theyre cashed in. So yeah, twice the borrowing with twice the interest! My point was, instead of giving the 47% these tax reductions, we should be raising their taxes so that they have to feel some of the pain that they voted for. The rest of us are dealing with increasing taxes, fees, regulations, etc., while the 47% are seeing the only tax they pay (FICA tax) cut. I’m not a fan of that.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 9:35 PM

That’s right, sports fans, the typical DC rules apply – when talking about deficit reduction, ALWAYS include fresh spending hikes.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Has this nation really become this stupid? Or this dependent?

Rovin on December 31, 2012 at 9:37 PM

I was using a bit of washington-logic there. There is never cash in SS, its all treasury bonds that will need to be rolled over and refinanced as theyre cashed in. So yeah, twice the borrowing with twice the interest! My point was, instead of giving the 47% these tax reductions, we should be raising their taxes so that they have to feel some of the pain that they voted for. The rest of us are dealing with increasing taxes, fees, regulations, etc., while the 47% are seeing the only tax they pay (FICA tax) cut. I’m not a fan of that.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 9:35 PM

From what I’ve seen, the FICA/SECA tax holiday is over at the stroke of midnight whether or not Le Petite Compromise passes.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Has this nation really become this stupid? Or this dependent?

Rovin on December 31, 2012 at 9:37 PM

In order, yes, and yes.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:47 PM

What could be the final update from me, this one from Mark Knoller – “Not (yet) clear if legislative language for ‘cliff’ deal will be ready for Senate vote tonight or tomorrow.”

I would be sooooo saddened if the legislative language isn’t ready before midnight </sarcasm> (though McConnell, Biden and Reid wouldn’t be sarcastic about their sadness).

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:50 PM

so let me get this straight– Demholes are ANGRY and need their arms twisted to get in line to vote to raise MY taxes because they wanted to confiscate more?

Let’s not forget these aren’t just the “Clinton rates”

– there’s an additional 0.9% medicare surtax for the “rich” on earned income

– cap gains/dividend rates are apparently going from 15 to 20%

– there’s also a 3.8% surtax on “unearned” income with cap gains/dividends

But that’s not enough of my hard earned money for these liberal bastards?

Attn liberals: GO FRACK YOURSELVES

thurman on December 31, 2012 at 9:54 PM

From what I’ve seen, the FICA/SECA tax holiday is over at the stroke of midnight whether or not Le Petite Compromise passes.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 9:46 PM

Fine by me. In fact, I say we raise the FICA deduction to cover the full cost of social security, medicare and even medicaid going forward. Lets see how much low information voters love their entitlements when THEY have to pay for them.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 10:01 PM

thurman on December 31, 2012 at 9:54 PM

Via the QOTD replacement thread (specifically canopfor), the Personal Exemption Phaseout and Pease provision (which limits itemized deductions) are also back. That’s another percentage point or two of tax.

As Teh SCOAMF said this afternoon, ALL that’s not enough for him.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM

As Teh SCOAMF said this afternoon, ALL that’s not enough for him.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 10:33 PM

Ah, and did you catch the part where any FUTURE spending cuts (ahem, yeah right) will only be entertained by his majesty if they come as a “balanced” package, including fewer DEDUCTIONS for the rich.

So those who said Boehner and Romney were idiots for bringing out “closing loopholes and deductions” as a way to “begin closing the deficit” were absolutely right. Obama is going to get higher rates and fewer deductions before this is all over. People will be paying literally 40% in income tax alone(state + federal) by the time this is all over.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Okay, two more updates:

- Supposedly a provision to block Congressional pay raises is in this thing.
- Dingy Harry’s looking to get a vote in before midnight so to maximize Bo(eh)ner’s boning.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:09 PM

Make it a third update:

- It also includes a 9-month delay of the Dairy Cliff.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Make it a third update:

- It also includes a 9-month delay of the Dairy Cliff.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Oh, thank god. Because I don’t know what I would have done if a pint of ben and jerrys hit $8.

/sarc

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 11:22 PM

And a fourth:

- Those of you looking to switch from traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs will be paying half the cost ($12 billion) of delaying sequester for two months.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:22 PM

Oh, thank god. Because I don’t know what I would have done if a pint of ben and jerrys hit $8.

/sarc

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 11:22 PM

How about a gallon of milk at $7?

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM

How about a gallon of milk at $7?

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM

I don’t drink milk, and I prefer bagels to cereal. I also use non-dairy creamer in my coffee. Honestly, not a huge dairy person in general. But whatever, why not treat milk like anything else and let supply and demand dictate the price, no matter what it is? (pretty sure it will be much less than $7/gallon)

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 11:27 PM

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:23 PM

I’ll put it this way, I’d much rather have $7 / gallon milk then continue paying $7 / pack for cigarettes.

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

SouthernGent on December 31, 2012 at 11:45 PM

I don’t drink milk, and I prefer bagels to cereal. I also use non-dairy creamer in my coffee. Honestly, not a huge dairy person in general. But whatever, why not treat milk like anything else and let supply and demand dictate the price, no matter what it is? (pretty sure it will be much less than $7/gallon)

Timin203 on December 31, 2012 at 11:27 PM

The problem is that the expiration of the current milk subsidies doesn’t mean the end of milk subsidies. Rather, it means far more milk subsidies as an older version returns.

Steve Eggleston on December 31, 2012 at 11:47 PM

Last update from me, I swear (I’m not waiting for the Senate to finally vote on something):

- Fox News is reporting the 10-year CBO score is $620B in new taxes, $15B in spending cuts (presumably versus continuing 2012 policy – i.e. no Bush rate expirations or sequesters).

Fscking brilliant, McConnell.

Steve Eggleston on January 1, 2013 at 12:20 AM

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