Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Good news for food and energy in the Fiscal Bluff deal

In Fiscal Cliff is holding up Farm Bill and holding down consumer confidence, I mentioned one of the issues that had been swept up in the Fiscal Cliff Bluff AKA the Austerity Bomb, the expiration of the Farm Bill and the possibility that the price of milk and other dairy products would double.  That was taken care of in the deal, as Politicus USA notes (emphasis mine).
Some on the left are already griping that the White House gave up too much by raising the income limit on the Bush tax cuts to $400,000-450,000, but here is what the president got in return for his minor concession:

– A permanent rise in tax rates to the Clinton era levels for all individuals making over $400,000 a year.

– A return to the Clinton era rates on capital gains.

– The Estate Tax will be set at 40% for those at $400,000 threshold with a $5 million exemption.

– A 5 year extension of the Earned Income Tax Credit, the Child Tax Credit, and the American Opportunity Tax Credit for low income Americans.

– All Obama small business tax breaks extended for another year.

– A full year extension of unemployment benefits.

– A nine month Farm Bill.

– A permanent patch for the Alternative Minimum tax.
There was also good news for energy, as Daily Kos mentioned.
Democrats got a one-year extension of unemployment benefits, the elimination of some tax deductions on those making over $250,000, the extension of some business tax breaks, like for wind energy.
In other words, the good news I mentioned in Blogging as professional development: energy and air pollution, that 46.2 percent of new electricity generating capacity added in the U.S. during the past year was renewable, will continue to be the case in 2013.

And, yes, the House passed the Senate bill as is in a vote of 257-167, with 85 Republicans joining 172 Democrats in voting for it.  True, in two months, it will be time for another serving of Satan Sandwich, but tonight it's time for Professor Farnsworth!

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