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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Tough Talk On Fiscal Cliff from President Obama

Democrats and Republicans struck a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff to start 2013 off in promising direction.

The deal prevents rising taxes on the wealthiest two percent of Americans while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have potential sent the economy in to free fall.

With the current proposal more than 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up.  Millions of families will continue to receive tax credits and companies will continue to receive tax credits for the jobs that they create. 
Said President Obama, "But I think we all recognize this law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everybody.  The fact is the deficit is still too high, and we're still investing too little in the things that we need for the economy to grow as fast as it should."

As it currently stands the bill makes permanent the temporary rates on taxable income at or below $400,000 for individual filers and $450,000 for married individuals filing jointly.  The bill also permanently indexes the Alternative Minimum Tax exemption amount to the Consumer Price Index; extends emergency unemployment compensation benefits and Federal funding for extended benefits for unemployed workers for one year and continues current law Medicare payment rates for physicians' services furnished through December 31, 2013.

Additionally the law, signed by President Obama while vacationing in Hawaii until January 5th, extends farm bill policies and programs through September 30, 2013; and provides a postponement of the Budget Control Act's sequester for two months.

The president also signed into law the "National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013," which authorizes fiscal year 2013 appropriations for Department of Defense programs and military construction, Department of Energy national security programs, and Department of Transportation maritime security programs; authorizes recruitment and retention bonuses, special payments, and other authorities relating to the U.S. Armed Forces; and makes other modifications to national security, foreign affairs, and other related programs. 

National Defense Authorization Act

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