With just hours before the United States goes over the so-called “fiscal cliff,” Republicans and Democrats are still hashing out the details of a deal to avert the potential crisis. Despite rhetoric and a plethora of debate, Business Insider’s Henry Blodget contends that the two sides are “absurdly close” on striking a deal. But being somewhat near one another on some indicators doesn’t necessarily mean the two sides will oblige and come to agreement in time.
Based on Washington Post analysis of the dialogue as it currently stands, Blodget notes some of the concessions that Democrats have made to assist in bridging the divide on taxation. Rather than commencing higher taxes on couples making $250,000, Democrats have agreed to increase that sum to $450,000 (some in the GOP are insisting that this number be $550,000).
On another note, though, the Democrats — despite Republican push-back — plan to raise capital gains and dividend taxes to 20 percent for those families making $250,000 or more. Some deductions will also be reduced for these households. Below, see some of Blodget’s other bullet points highlighting where the Democrats currently stand on a plethora of issues pertaining to the “fiscal cliff”:
The Democrats’ offer would permanently protect middle-class households from the Alternative Minimum Tax. No details on how this would work.
On the spending side, the Democrats’ offer would delay the “sequester” (automatic spending cuts) until 2015. This would cost an estimated $200 billion. But it would avoid the cuts to the military budget that the Republicans are so desperate to avoid.
The Democrats would also extend unemployment benefits for a year, extend farm subsidies for a year, and avoid a 27% cut in Medicare payments to doctors. The Republicans say they want offsets to these spending cuts.