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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Update on Fiscal Cliff

by Calculated Risk on 12/18/2012 01:37:00 PM

I try to ignore the fiscal cliff, but I do read the Wonkblog daily for updates.

From Suzy Khimm at the Wonkblog: Five sticking points in the fiscal cliff deal

President Obama’s latest fiscal cliff offer has brought the outlines of a final deal into focus. But there are still some major sticking points and outstanding questions that have to be resolved before a final deal will be able to pass Congress.
Here are the five issues Khimm identifies:
1) Will low-income seniors be protected from Social Security cuts? If so, how?
2) Will House Republicans go along with tax hikes?
3) How much short-term stimulus will survive in a final deal?
4) What kind of enforcement mechanism will be attached to the health-care cuts?
5) How will the debt ceiling be resolved?
And on the AMT from Mark Koba at CNBC: Will 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Include Cap on the AMT?
President Barack Obama's latest proposal in the "Fiscal Cliff" talks includes an offer to permanently cap the Alternative Minimum Tax ... Right now, some 29 million more Americans—in addition to the current 4 million—could be subject to the AMT in their 2012 returns if no agreement is reached on the fiscal cliff. ... That's because the AMT has never been indexed to inflation, so every year more Americans are caught up in it. Congress has traditionally created patches in years past to keep the AMT from clobbering more taxpayers, but so far no patch has been put up for a vote for tax year 2012.
Finding a permanent fix to the AMT would be a small positive step.