This is essentially policy-making by hostage-taking. Take no action.
If no action is taken between now and Jan. 1, the middle class will suffer as the payroll tax cut expires, and many will pay a little more in income taxes. The wealthy will suffer a great deal more as they tumble over the fiscal cliff. They’ll see taxes on their income rise, as well as taxes on capital gains and dividends and taxes on their estates.
The hedge-fund and private-equity industry, which, thanks to the carried-interest loophole, pays low long-term capital-gain rates on its income, could face a doubling of tax rates.
Past practice has shown the Republicans will not negotiate any tax adjustments on the rich. The reality is we can not legislate a fair tax structure but can accomplish some degree of equality by taking the “Fiscal Cliff.”
The predicted recession would only be temporary and would reverse as soon as deals are struck in the new Congress. All of us paying more taxes, combined with prudent spending cuts, may be the best thing for our country at this time.
In a hope for solidarity, from a member of the Working Families Party, Plattsburgh.
JAMES C. KING