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What Would You Like to See Congress do to Avoid Going Over the ‘Fiscal Cliff?’

Lawmakers have Dec. 31 deadline to prevent start of automatic tax hikes and budget cuts.

 

After kicking the can down the road to avoid making hard choices in the face of an election, lawmakers now have just a few weeks to face financial reality for the American people. Experts may debate whether it’s a “fiscal cliff” or a gentle slope, but everyone seems to agree that dealing with the deficit and expiration of Bush-era tax cuts is a must. (See Wall Street Journal video explainer.)

Congress set their own deadline to do so of Dec. 31, 2012, conveniently after the election. But with another election at least two years away, it's now time to do something about it. Up until now, each Party has blamed the other for the footdragging, but all indications are that the American people are tired of the deadlock in Washington. They're ready to see some compromise. 

What would you be prepared to see your congressmen concede in order to resolve the issue or do you think they should hold the Party line no matter what? What would you like to see happen to prevent going over the so-called "fiscal cliff?"

Jim Miller November 28, 2012 at 03:23 PM
First government spending should be cut. I do not mean reduce the growth, as most politicians refer to cuts; I mean CUT, Downsize, eliminate duplication, graft, abuse, etc. Limit our budget to a percent of the GDP, and make that law! I am all for increasing taxes if that is what it takes to save our country and children’s futures, but not until the waste and abuse have been eliminated. Does anyone favor just throwing good money after bad? Until the purse strings are cut, or at least limited, there is no reason whatsoever for anyone in Washington or even on the State and local levels to curtail spending and favors for their cronies. Unlimited funds lead to unlimited spending.
Jim Miller November 28, 2012 at 03:23 PM
Regarding taxing unearned income more, read above and remember this… unearned income always comes from investing and exposing funds to RISK! When a person invests in a company, or the stock market, or even bonds, they are being paid interest or income or see gains based upon risk! We now live in a Global Economy. Our debt to China is based on their investment into our economy, markets, and bonds. When these investments go bad, do you recommend we reimburse the taxes we collected? Why in the hell would anyone put their capital at risk in a place where if they make a profit they are taxed at 35 – 50%, but if they lose they get nothing… they just lose their capital they worked and saved so hard for when they can invest in other global economies and not be taxed at all, or at a much lower rate? Every action creates an equal or opposite reaction. If you want to guarantee reduced investments in our economy, raise the cost of doing so. Remember also, far more empires and countries have been destroyed by socialist actions and wealth re-distribution tactics’ than all the wars combined. Eliminate wealth and you eliminate sources of funds.
Jim Miller November 28, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Finally, regarding illegal immigrants and their children; common sense dictates the understanding that we will never round up all the illegal immigrants and ship them back. We couldn’t do it if we wanted to. But for some reason we keep putting the cart before the horse! When a pipe breaks in your house and it starts flooding, or a leak forms in your boat, do you start discussing how to remove the water first; of course not. The first thing you do is STOP THE DAMN LEAK! All the bailing in the world will do no good if the leak continues to pour in more water than you can bail. All you would accomplish is eternal bailing. Once the leak is stopped… then we can address what to do with the water. First, our federal government should do one of the few things it is supposed to do by constitution… protect our borders. Once that is accomplished, THEN we can start dealing with the issue of those who are here already, and maybe start by obeying the law and deporting those who actually are breaking the laws and committing crimes when we catch and convict them. Not necessarily the immigration laws, but armed robbery laws, rape laws, child molestation laws, actual criminal laws that put us all at risk. Let’s start with those, then we can discuss moving backwards. IMHO.
Bob Lust November 29, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Let's face reality. At present entitlements, such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal retirements (civilian and Military), and such are equal or greater than the total inflow through taxes. Tax the millionaires and Billionaires, even those making over $250,000 100% and we don’t make a significant dent in the debt. Blame whoever you wish, Bush, Obama, Regan, welfare, or Congress, you name it; the fact is we are where we are. Don’t waste time in finger pointing and assigning blame. Fix it! Like a flat tire, the nail may be at fault, but we have to fix it. It looks good to tax the rich and corporations, who in some cases may pay relatively little in income tax. Remember, these same corporations pay local taxes, payroll taxes (those above deductions on employee payments), and they employ people that contribute to the community as well as pay taxes. To be true, the rich guys invested in these companies, but so did the retirement funds of millions of workers, including civil service (federal, state, and local). Tax the companies 100%, and countless millions lose much of their retirement money. The whole tax system needs revision, perhaps start over.
Frank Jones November 29, 2012 at 10:28 PM
There are many ways to make the tax code more equitable. I came across a great article yesterday (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/11/10-easy-ways-avoid-fiscal-cliff) that presented reasonable changes such as: 1. Raise capital gains rate to a higher rate, even the ordinary income rate. (The capital gains in your retirement accounts will be taxed at ordinary income rates.) 2. Tax "carried-interest" at ordinary income rates. 3. Cap the mortgage interest deduction by limiting the loan value on which interest can be calculated. Currently mortgage interest on $1.1 million mortgage can be deducted. 4. Prohibit the mortgage interest deduction for second homes. 5. Revitalize the "death tax". 6. Limit the step-up in basis of inherited property. 7. Implement the "Buffett" rule and place a minimum 30% tax on income over $1 million. 8. Raise the upper income tax brackets and make the tax system more progressive. 9. Tax US corporations on their off-shore income but continue giving them tax credits for the taxes paid in those countries. 10. Re-Implement traditional depreciation policies. Other ideas: 11. Limit the charitable deduction to say, $100,000. 12. Hire auditors to flesh out medicare/medicaid fraud committed by doctors, hospitals, and clinics. Billions can be saved. 13. Place a means test on medicare. 14. Limit aggregate amounts that can be deferred in IRA/401K accounts. No reason for Romney to have over $100 million deferred.

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