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Fiscal Cliff Postmortems

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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House and Senate provisions raise over $600 billion in new taxes over the next decade. Every worker is affected.

Tax code provisions got more complicated.

Fifty-two tax credits were extended. Most are for one year. New battles loom for further extensions.

Section 206 provides capital gains tax exemption for property contributed for conservation. 

Section 312 offers faster tax deductions for motor sports and entertainment complexes.

Section 317 permits expensing film and television productions. Hollywood got what it wanted.

Corporate research tax credits were extended. So were others for government-approved energy initiatives. Energy-efficient new homes are subsidized. So are some existing ones, cellulosic biofuel, and Indian coal facilities.

The alternative minimum tax (AMT) became permanent. For the first time, it's automatically indexed to scandalously manipulated low inflation.

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Government ends up bigger than ever. Negotiations await on spending cuts. Whatever's agreed on won't stop deficits rising exponentially. 

House and Senate legislation raised taxes more than reported. Top rates go from 35 - 41%, not 39.6%. The higher figure includes phased out deductions.

The personal payroll tax rises from 4.2 - 6.2%. Doing so represents a 50% tax increase for most Americans. 

The estate tax goes from 35 - 40%. Amounts under $5 million are exempted.

Capital gains and dividends taxes increase from 15 - 23.8%, not 20%. The higher figure includes a 3.8% Obamacare investment income surtax.

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Five new taxes help pay for Obama's Affordable Care Act. Higher income workers now pay more for Medicare. So do people using flexible spending accounts to defray health expenses. 

Their contributions are capped at $2,500 annually. Most employer provided ones are $5,000.

Medical deductions are more limited. Obamacare raised the threshold from 7.5% to amounts over 10%. Seniors and spouses are exempt until 2016.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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