• Taking a leap over fiscal cliff
    December 05,2012
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    Come Dec. 31, 2012, we are scheduled to go off the “fiscal cliff.” That’s a colorful term for sequestration, meaning “things that will happen that we don’t want to happen but get to blame the other side for.” These things include the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, drastic cuts in government spending both domestic and military. The biggest impasse seems to be the tax issue.

    The Democrats and most people in America believe that the marginal tax rate for incomes over $250,000 should go from 35 percent to 38 percent and middle class incomes should be taxed less. The GOP doesn’t want to be seen raising taxes. The cuts in spending are secondary, if even seriously considered at all. The tax thing is the impasse.

    Here is my prediction. Come Dec. 31, there will be no deal. The Bush tax cuts expire. Now a bill cutting taxes on those making less than $250,000 will be introduced. There will not be a bill cutting taxes on those making more than $250,000. This way, the taxes that should go up do go up. “Hey, that’s the law,” they’ll all say. The taxes that should go down, well, they all get to vote to lower taxes. And nobody gets blamed for the top marginal rate increasing because that was set over 10 years ago. And everybody brags that they cut taxes. Win-win!

    The next two years will have the same bickering and whining about what should be cut or not and the sun will rise in the east.

    This is called politics. Believe it or not, this is how it works.

    GEORGE SIMPSON

    Pittsfield
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