Fiscal Cliff Follies
Surrounded by supporters and campaign workers, President Barack Obama addressed the nation and insisted that any tax agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff include the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and an increase in taxes for the wealthy.
House Speaker John Boehner spoke earlier in the day, outlining his chamber’s calendar for fiscal cliff negotiations. In their first salvos, neither side appeared willing to budge on the issue of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
Republican Senator John Kyl, however, claims that revenue can be generated without increasing taxes on any group. To achieve this, Kyl says a combination of economic growth and the elimination of deductions, credits, exemptions, special provisions in the code that end up producing more revenue.
Corruption: The Ongoing Cancer On The Political System
Christian Caryl of Foreign Policy magazine asserts that corruption may be the defining political issue of the coming decade. The current corruption scandals in China and Russia are hardly confined to despotic regimes.
“Brazilians have been watching in astonishment as dozens of officials from the administration of still-popular ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have been tried and convicted for their involvement in a vast vote-buying scheme known as the mensalão (Portuguese for”big monthly payment”). In Indonesia, the national Anti-Corruption Commission has been embroiled in an epic battle with the notoriously rotten police force,” Caryl writes.
Geithner To Remain At Treasury Into 2013
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will remain in his position until a successor is chosen.
Here’s An Idea: Middle Class Tax Hikes
Reuters columnist David Callahan distinguishes (and possibly distances) himself from the crowd by calling on President Obama to consider raising taxes on the middle class.
“To be sure, middle-class families are struggling, and higher taxes would be painful. Yet those Americans further down the economic ladder – the bottom 30 percent of households – are hurting far worse. If taxes on the middle class don’t go up, government spending for this group will face an unprecedented squeeze,” he writes.