Sudeep Reddy described, in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, a few that will occur in the coming year.
- Jan 1: New provisions take effect including higher payroll taxes, income taxes and investment taxes.
In truth, the payroll tax “holiday” was an act of monumental stupidity by both parties—but then I repeat myself. With Social Security already nearing bankruptcy (the timing works out to just a Presidential election cycle or two from today), reduce the funding for it by nearly a sixth. Yeah.
The payroll tax cut also points up the dishonesty of the Progressives in Congress and in the White House. President Barack Obama, for instance, is on record as saying that such a cut in Americans’ taxes is good for all Americans. Indeed, he’s gone so far as to propose boosting it to 3% and including businesses by proposing a 3% cut in their side of the payroll taxes. Yet he, and his fellow Progressives, refuse to consider making those 3% an income tax cut and making the reduction permanent.
- Jan 2: $110 billion in spending cuts scheduled to begin, hitting domestic and military spending.
This is as inevitable as Obama can make it. Enormous defense cuts have been a Progressive dream for 50 years.
- Late February, early March: the US is expected to reach its congressionally mandated borrowing limit.
- March 27: A deal to fund the federal government expires.
- Mid-2013: If Congress crafts a two-step deal to avert the fiscal cliff, this could be the deadline for tackling part two, including any unresolved tax and entitlement issues.
The tax and entitlement “issues” are already settled. Senator Chuck Schumer (D, NY), et al., has already said that there are no entitlement issues; entitlements are not to be cut; they’re not even to be discussed. Period. Moreover, Obama has already said he’ll veto any bill that doesn’t include tax rate increases (his latest “flexibility” on that item is just eye-wash for the chattering classes. That’s clear from his “stopgap” proposal: let taxes rise for those above his originally demand demanded threshold—$200k/$250k.) The tax question already has been resolved in another way, too: Obama gets his tax rate increases in the absence of a deal.