Midnight Machinations: Tax Cut Bill Clears Congress

I won’t get all Schoolhouse Rock on you with the nuts and bolts of this thing, but suffice it to say, the bill is about to become a law as the great tax cut compromise is on its way to the White House for a signature.  The final House vote went 277 to 148 in favor, for those keeping score.

This news broke minutes ago and because I’m the only freak who gets jet lag from a one hour time difference, I’m up to bring it to you live.  You’re welcome, I guess.

From the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Congress approved an $801 billion package of tax cuts and $57 billion for extended unemployment insurance at midnight Thursday. The vote sealed the first major deal between President Obama and Congressional Republicans as Democrats put aside their objections and bowed to the realignment of power brought about by their crushing election losses.

What’s it actually mean?  Some details:

The bill approved by Congress extends for two years all of the income tax cuts enacted under Mr. Bush and provides a one-year payroll tax cut for most American workers, delivering what economists predict would be a needed lift for the struggling economy.

The Dems got steamrolled is the bottom line.  Party leadership’s main concern is remaining as the party leadership and in the service of that, they relented on even the estate tax.   The party now fears that these “temporarily-extended” tax cuts are actually forever cuts because, politically speaking, who will ever have the guts to hike them back?  The next time these “cuts” come back up for debate it’ll be the 2012 elections…so they’re probably here to stay.

Source:

Congress Sends Tax Cut Bill to Obama as Logjam Ends (NYT)

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