Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Tag Archives: Fiscal Cliff

Congressional Budget Office Predicts Recession

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 26:  The Congressional Bu...

The latest report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released on Tuesday said that if the country falls off the “fiscal cliff”—variously also called “taxmageddon”—it will likely enter a new recession. With the ending of the Bush-era tax cuts, the termination of extended unemployment benefits, the reimposition of the payroll tax rates back up to 6.2 percent from the current 4.2 percent, and the “sequester” cuts in government spending demanded by the agreement that Congress hammered out last summer in order to raise the debt ceiling, the CBO predicts that the country’s Gross National Product (GNP) will go negative for at least two quarters, which is the classic definition of a recession.

But, adds the CBO, if Congress does nothing, the longer-term benefits could be significant: a lowering of the annual deficit by about $600 billion in the first year, and lower deficits in the out years. This would reduce the danger of spiraling interest costs on the $16.4-trillion national debt along with a lower risk of further credit downgrades of the government debt by various rating services. In other words, according to the CBO: pain now or pain later.

If, as is likely, the Congress just simply sits on its hands and waits until after the November election or January 20 when the next Congress takes over, the problem just gets worse. As the CBO notes: 

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Taxmageddon Confrontation Has Already Begun

Taxes

Forty-one Senate Republicans sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last week urging him and Senate Democrats to start addressing “taxmageddon”—the impending tax hikes that will drain $500 billion out of the economy every year starting January 1st, unless something is done:

It is essential that Congress and the president address these coming tax increases this summer, rather than creating additional uncertainty for families and job creators by waiting until the last possible minute. The time to begin is now.

[If nothing is done] this would be, without any exaggeration, the largest tax increase in American history.

House Speaker John Boehner, on ABC’s This Week, added:

We’re looking at the largest tax increase in American history on January the 1st. We’re looking at big cuts to our Department of Defense. And we’re looking at an increase in the debt limit. Why do we want to wait to rush this through at the end of the year after the election?

Speaking for the Democrats, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) drew the line in the sand

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Boehner Fires First Salvo in Taxmageddon Wars

U.S. President is greeted by Speaker of the Ho...

House speaker John Boehner decided on Tuesday to fire the first round in the coming battle to deal with the huge tax increases taking place after the first of the year (“Taxmageddon”) by setting the terms for the debt ceiling debate. In a speech at the Peter G. Peterson Foundation’s 2012 Fiscal Summit in Washington Boehner said that any discussion would revolve around his “Boehner principle”—every dollar of additional debt increase for the federal government must be matched by an equal or greater reduction in government spending.

Said Boehner:

When the time comes, I will again insist on my simple principle of cuts and reforms greater than the debt limit increase. This is the only avenue I see right now to force the elected leadership of this country to solve our structural fiscal imbalance…

Just so we’re clear, I’m talking about real cuts and reforms—not these tricks and gimmicks that have given Washington a pass on grappling with its spending problem…

Previous Congresses have encountered lesser precipices with lower stakes and made a beeline for the closest lame-duck escape hatch. Let me put your mind at ease. This Congress will not follow that path, not if I have anything to do with it.

Democrats immediately fired back. White House spokesman Jay Carney called Boehner’s remarks as inviting brinkmanship similar to that last summer that resulted in an increase of the debt ceiling along with some future spending cuts. Said Carney: 

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$5 Trillion Tax Hike Coming

Barack Obama addressing a joint session of Con...

Back in February when the Congress voted to extend the payroll tax “holiday” to the end of the year, the Washington Post was the first to notice the tsunami of tax increases coming next year. But then Lori Montgomery began to add up all the other taxes that will increase on January 1, 2013, and called it “Taxmageddon.”

Here is a partial list of taxes that will increase unless Congress intervenes:

  • The 2001 and 2003 Bush “tax cuts” expire
  • Taxes on investment income
  • Estate and gift taxes
  • Income taxes
  • Marriage penalty returns
  • Child credit drops
  • Taxes on first $8700 of wages increase by 50 percent
  • Payroll taxes go from 4.2 percent back to 6.2 percent

But that is only a start. The Heritage Foundation did an in-depth analysis of all the tax increases scheduled for next year and found that Lori forgot some:

  • The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) will increase in size and reach
  • Five new Obamacare taxes will start
  • Some 50 “tax extenders” will go away
  • Small business owners can no longer write off business equipment purchases immediately

Adding them all together, the total is $500 billion. And that’s just in 2013. Over the next decade, the tax increases will exceed $5 trillion.

The effect of this tidal wave is already having a dampening effect on the economy. Curtis Dubay, the author of the Heritage study, wrote:

Families, businesses, and investors need to know how much tax they will pay in the future before making important economic decisions. The uncertainty caused by Taxmageddon means they are stuck in neutral while they wait for President Obama and Congress to act. This is slowing job creation and stopping many of the millions of unemployed Americans from going back to work.

Sucking half a trillion dollars out of the economy is going to have a severe negative impact on growth. Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics estimates that the nation’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product) would be reduced by at least

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.
Copyright © 2018 Bob Adelmann