News / USA

'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Outlines Emerging

Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined by the Republican leadership speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama following a closed-door strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, December 18, 2012.
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, joined by the Republican leadership speaks to reporters about the fiscal cliff negotiations with President Obama following a closed-door strategy session, at the Capitol in Washington, December 18, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
U.S. leaders are edging closer to a compromise on contentious end-of-year mandates for sharp spending cuts in key government programs and tax increases for almost all American workers.

Significant hurdles remain to a deal, but the outlines of an agreement seemed to be emerging Tuesday, even as U.S. President Barack Obama and his Republican opponents in Congress spar over the details.


What is the U.S. Fiscal Cliff?

  • An agreement intended to force politicians to compromise and make deals.
  • Without a deal by January 1, 2013, sharp spending cuts would hit military and social programs.
  • Tax hikes also would go into effect.
  • The combination would reduce economic activity, and could boost unemployment and push the nation back into recession.
Throughout his successful re-election campaign, Obama called for ending a tax break for the wealthiest households, those making more than $250,000 a year. But now the president, a Democrat, says he is willing to keep the tax cut for those earning up to $400,000 annually. The leader of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, Speaker John Boehner, says Republicans wants the tax break extended for taxpayers making up to $1 million.

"I think we all know that every income tax filer in America is going to pay higher rates come January 1st, unless Congress acts. So I believe it's important that we protect as many American taxpayers as we can, and our Plan B would protect American taxpayers who make $1 million or less," said Boehner.

The White House said Boehner's call for extending the tax break to $1 million wage earners "doesn't ask enough of the very wealthiest."

Obama has also reduced his demand for more taxes over the next decade from $1.4 trillion to $1.2 trillion and said he would agree to a Republican call to curb spending for government pensions for retired workers by changing the way annual increases in the payments are calculated.

Even as they move closer to an agreement, the problem for both Obama and Boehner is whether they can convince their political colleagues to support the emerging compromise. In the U.S., Democrats have adamantly opposed any changes in Social Security, the pension plan for retirees, while Republicans have steadfastly stood against tax increases.

The two sides are trying to avoid what Washington is calling a "fiscal cliff," about $500 billion in mandated spending cuts for defense and domestic programs and higher taxes throughout the U.S. labor force that are set to take effect January 1.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
December 18, 2012 2:39 PM
all tycoons are so selfish that their selfishness will surely ruin their common shelter: the United States of American.


by: Cranksy from: USA
December 18, 2012 1:37 PM
Social Security is irrelevant to the deficit or the debt. It is not financed by the income tax.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid