fiscal cliff

The Newest Fiscal Solution — Designed by You

Posted on 11/29/2012 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsSick of hearing how politicians can’t solve the nation’s debt crisis? The debt to gross national product ratio is creeping up to scary levels, according to economists. Congress passed the ball to a super committee, which couldn’t solve the problem. Then it set up automatic cuts and tax hikes that go into effect next month — but now many lawmakers want to undo that. To people sitting at home thinking they could do a better job: Have at it. There …

Has the Anti-Tax ‘Pledge’ Lost Its Edge?

Posted on 11/27/2012 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsFor a middle-aged policy wonk, Grover Norquist sure provokes some powerful emotions: fear, loathing, reverence. Norquist is the president of Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative nonprofit that advocates lower taxes and smaller government. It’s famous for getting legions of politicians to sign a pledge against raising taxes. But as Congress and the White House struggle with how to deal with a debt load that threatens to cripple the economy, some of the Republicans who have stood staunchly with Norquist …

The Fiscal Cliff: Where’s the Bungee Cord?

Posted on 11/27/2012 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIf the nation goes over the “fiscal cliff,” it could be an especially steep dive for older Americans. If Congress and the White House don’t seal a deal to avert looming tax increases and spending cuts, expect another recession with an estimated 0.5 percent reduction in gross domestic product (adjusted for inflation), warns the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. That may not sound like a big deal, but a contraction of the economy isn’t exactly what Americans are hoping for right …

When This Holiday’s Over, Will Your Taxes Go Up?

Posted on 11/27/2012 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIf Washington’s politicians can’t reach a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, the temporary payroll tax cut passed two years ago as an anti-recessionary measure could evaporate — and with it, starting in January, a percentage of your take-home pay. The payroll tax holiday cut the employee contribution from 6.8 percent of wages to 4.8 percent. That may not sound like much, but it adds up to $125 billion less in income for families, according to Michael Feroli, a JPMorgan …

Could the Impending Budget Cuts Touch You?

Posted on 11/21/2012 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsSequestration — that’s the five-dollar word for the across-the-board budget cuts looming in the near future — sounds pretty arcane and abstract. But if the automatic cuts go into effect at the beginning of the year, many older Americans could feel them quite tangibly — when they go to the Social Security office, turn on the heat or hear their stomachs rumble. When Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on a deficit-reduction package last year, they tied their own hands. They agreed …

Medicare: It’s Not Exactly a Cliffhanger, But . . .

Posted on 11/21/2012 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsWhile Medicare is largely protected from the “fiscal cliff” cuts that could come at the beginning of next year, take note: largely doesn’t mean completely. Congress and the White House are working feverishly to forestall the pending budget cuts and tax increases that have brought us to the edge of the cliff. But if they fail, Medicare service providers — doctors, hospitals, skilled nursing, and so forth — will face a 2 percent reduction in reimbursements. That represents $11 billion …