reply to post by hawkiye
All bush tax cuts have been rolled back. Democratic incumbents would have suffered were they to fold on middle class tax breaks. Many Republican
incumbents would have suffered if they caved on allowing any income tax hikes.
Cuts to medicare and unemployment insurance to which democrats would have been unlikely to attach their name.
$55 Billion in discretionary defense spending in 2013 republican supporters would not like.
$55 Billion in discretionary non-defense spending in 2013 democratic supporters would not like.
Cap on some itemized deductions for high income earners. I'm guessing incumbents from both sides take heat on this one.
Estate tax exemption falls to $1 million from $5 million and the rate rises to 55%. I imagine supporters of both sides will be furious about this,
though republicans would probably take more heat.
Dividend tax rate for upper income earners will jump from 15% to almost 40% and capital gains taxes will increase from 15% to 20%, something both
sides would have taken significant flack for. Republicans more from their base, but both from their backers.
Many popular progressive tax policies will be dropping or hitting lower income earners harder such as child tax credit, alternative minimum tax,
payroll tax holiday, earned income tax credit, etc. Obviously this would not sit well with the democratic base.
These kind of freezes, cuts, and tax increases could have never passed were it put to a vote. They knew very well many would lose their seats because
That being said, I don't mean to imply that these are good policy. However, what they do accomplish is the removal of impediments that allow them to
vote "for" policies of which their base approves without appearing to sacrifice on principle.
It's like spotting a beautiful piece of land where you would like to build your city but finding it already inhabited by a poorly planned and
inefficiently structured town. Unfortunately for you, those living their refuse to allow you to rebuild their town. To fix this, you hire some
stranger to come and level the whole thing. Once the people see what's happened you show up again and offer to help them rebuild.
Please don't stretch the example too far as I do not mean to imply either the fiscal cliff or the eventual fixes will be any kind of shining city,
just some necessary actions to allow them to implement needed changes without losing their jobs. Clever pragmatism, not utopia.