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OK, So What Exactly Did Congress Do About the Fiscal Cliff?

OK, So What Exactly Did Congress Do About the Fiscal Cliff?

Well, a call doesn’t come much closer than this, but come it did: Congress managed to make a hard turn at the last possible second and kept us all from flying off the fiscal cliff and plummeting to certain recession on the jagged rocks below. Now, the so-called American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 only delays the hikes by a few months, so we’ll get to relive this charming drama all over again before you know it—but at least America won’t become the financial laughing stock of the world. Well, not anymore than it already is. In a very, very brief overview, here’s the deal Congress reached: The Bush tax cuts aren’t going anywhere for the majority of Americans, but those making $400,000 or more will see a 4.6 percent hike (the same rates as the Clinton era). There won’t be many spending cuts for now, as the deal involves a two-month delay on some of the $10 billion in cuts that were set to go in effect at the outset of 2013. The taxes on inherited estates will go from 35 percent to 40 percent. And, notably, the much-feared tax hike on milk won’t go into effect at all. So, the deal is a good one for milk-lovers, even if nobody in Congress seems entirely happy with the end result …

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