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The fiscal cliff 'deal': They're kidding, right?

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By The Tribune-Review

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, 9:58 a.m.

Once again, Republicans have mistaken capitulation for “compromise.” Those who voted for the “deal” to avert the “fiscal cliff” of the Washington magicians' making — $1 in tax cuts for every $41 in tax increases — should be run out of Washington on a rail.

And if folks like Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., honestly believe “this legislation is the best we could do for taxpayers and job seekers,” well, he'd better have that hole in his head treated and stat.

Seventy-seven percent of all American households will pay higher taxes under this “deal” to “save” the middle class from the “evil rich”; more than 80 percent of households with incomes of $50,000 or higher will, too.

The top personal income-tax rate goes from 35 percent to 41 percent (when deduction “reform” is included). The death tax goes from 35 percent to 40 percent. The capital gains tax rises from 15 percent to 23.8 percent (as does the tax on dividends).

And for small business, the backbone of the American economy, the shaft is particularly large, painful and splintery. As The Wall Street Journal calculates it, “the real marginal tax rate on a dollar of investment income from bank savings or money-market accounts will be about 46 percent” (and more like 55 percent or higher when state taxes are figured in).

When combined with the spending plans of the “progressive” lunatics now winning the day in Washington — and we've not even mentioned the lunacy of the deal's multibillion-dollar sops to the administration's cronies — the fiscal cliff “deal” will add nearly $4 trillion to the deficit over the next decade.

Real spending cuts and “reform” will come later, Republicans insist.

Idiots that they are, they really believe it.



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