News / USA

Major US Tax, Spending Decisions Could Hinge on November Elections

Major US Tax, Spending Decisions Could Hinge on November Electionsi
|| 0:00:00
X
Michael Bowman
July 29, 2012 9:35 PM
Unless the U.S. Congress acts, most Americans will pay more taxes next year to a federal government forced to slash domestic and national defense spending. Such an outcome would significantly cut the deficit, but could also damage an already-weak U.S. economy. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the November elections could determine how the nation proceeds.
Michael Bowman
Unless the U.S. Congress acts, most Americans will pay more taxes next year to a federal government forced to slash domestic and national defense spending.  Such an outcome would significantly cut the deficit, but could also damage an already-weak U.S. economy.  The November elections could determine how the nation proceeds.
 
Last week brought a tantalizing hint of movement in a politically divided legislature.  The Democrat-controlled Senate passed a bill to retain current tax rates on earnings under $250,000 a year.  Democrat Charles Schumer said, “The House should act immediately so the president can sign this bill into law.”
 
But Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, say the measure will die in the lower chamber.  House Speaker John Boehner had a message for President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. “Mr. President, I tell you what: if you want to show that you stand with American small-business owners, the best thing you can do is drop your plan to increase their taxes on January first," he said. 
 
Republicans want current tax rates extended for all income levels, including the very wealthy, whom they describe as America’s job creators. Senator John Thune said, “The one thing we do not need in the middle of this kind of an economy is a big, fat tax increase.”
 
The Senate’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, summed up his take on the Democratic agenda by saying, “Taking more money from those who earn it for the government to waste.”
 
Democrats counter that allowing the tax rate for top earners to rise would reduce the severity of automatic spending cuts that will disproportionately affect poorer and middle-income Americans.  President Obama says America's deficit cannot be eliminated by budget cuts alone. “I do not believe you can reduce the deficit without asking the wealthiest Americans, including folks like me, to give up the tax cuts they have been benefiting from for the last decade," he said. 
 
While Republicans portray themselves as champions of businesses small and large, Democrats want voters to view them as defenders of a faltering middle class.  
 
Senator Barbara Boxer said, “Who are you fighting for?  Are you fighting for the people who make a billion dollars a year?  That is who the Republicans fight for.  Or are you fighting for the middle class, the heart and soul of America?”
 
With neither political party able to exert its will, both are waiting for the American people to weigh in at the ballot box in November, and possibly alter the balance of power in Washington.  

Political analyst John Fortier, who examines possible outcomes, said, “If the president is reelected, he will be reelected with at least part of a Republican Congress, the House and maybe the Senate.  We will have divided government, and many of the same fights we are having today over the raising of the debt ceiling and other budget differences will probably be replayed again and again for the next four years.”
 
On the other hand, a victory by Republican challenger Mitt Romney could break the gridlock to the benefit of his party’s agenda, assuming Republicans see further gains in Congress.
 

You May Like

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

Nigerian Islamic School Tries to Combat Boko Haram

Kaduna school headmaster teaches his students that what militants are doing is are doing is 'a total misunderstanding of the Islamic religion' More

University Trains Students to Advocate for Deaf People Worldwide

Program prepares graduates to advocate internationally for access to education, jobs for people with disabilities More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid