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Responsible Fiscal Cliff Resolution

By       Message Stephen Lendman       (Page 3 of 9 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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Social America will be hardest hit. It's longstanding policy. Over the next decade, agreement was reached on cutting about $4 trillion. Before it ends, expect much more.

Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public pensions are prime targets. Other vital social programs are included. Erosion and planned privatization assure eliminating them. 

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So does eventually ending virtually all benefits disadvantaged households now get. Bedrock programs will be entirely destroyed. Doing so in their current form comes first. Eliminating them altogether follows.

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The annual "doc fix" also expires. Medicare's growth formula ties physician compensation to economic performance. Healthcare providers get shortchanged. Doc fixes minimize damage. 

Unless renewed, physician compensation will drop 26.5%. Doing so assures more doctors dropping out of the program altogether. Many already did so.

The alternative minimum tax (AMT) expires. Annual congressional patches keep it in place. In 1969, it was introduced. 

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Initially it was conceived as a system to assure high-income earners, corporations, trusts, and estates pay at least minimal taxes. Currently around 20% of households are affected. 

Thresholds aren't automatically adjusted for inflation. For years, Congress enacted one-year patches. At times, modest inflation relief was included. AMT kicks in if tentative minimum taxes exceed regular ones.

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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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