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Fiscal Endgame

By New York Times, New York Times - December 27, 2012

Just before the Christmas break, negotiations on the so-called fiscal cliff ended on an absurdist note. House Republicans not only rejected President Obama’s overly generous budget deal, including his offer to lift the income threshold for higher tax rates to $400,000 a year from $250,000, they also rejected their own leadership’s proposal to raise the threshold for higher taxes to $1 million and to preserve tax breaks for the heirs of multimillion-dollar estates.

Most of the fiscal-cliff discussion has focused on higher income tax rates from the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts and automatic across-the-board spending cuts. But failure to reach a deal by year-end would also bring about deeper and more immediate pain for low- and middle-income Americans.

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