Congress is looking at ways to escape the coils of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by making itself and its employees exempt from the provisions of the act. This show of confidence in its own handiwork – the major legislative accomplishment of the Obama administration – is pretty much what the public has come to expect of the political class. As John Brensnahan & Jake Sherman write in Politico:
White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer was asked Wednesday morning to decribe what he considers President Obama’s "precepts" for getting things done in Washington. “There’s almost no characteristic more important than discipline,” Pfeiffer responded.
Wall Street has taken to thinking in terms of walls. There is a “wall of money” waiting to tumble down on stock markets and into corporate investments if only investors could climb the “wall of worry” constructed by America’s politicians who can’t seem to put the nation’s finances in order.
Perhaps the least surprising headline in the aftermath of the tax deal last week was the one in Politico declaring that congressional Democrats are planning to run against “chaos” in the 2014 midterm elections. It’s unsurprising because Democrats have been working, with considerable success, to establish the proposition that Washington is dysfunctional because of the GOP.
It has been widely reported that the recently passed “fiscal cliff” deal entails a tax hike with no corresponding spending cuts. Other reports claim that the deal imposes a 41-to-1 ratio of tax hikes to spending cuts. But neither of these claims is correct.
The AP reports that John Boehner will remain speaker of the House:
Republican John Boehner of Ohio has been re-elected as speaker of the House of Representatives. He received 219 votes, with 193 going for Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and 15 voting for another candidate or present. Six members did not vote.
Deal or no deal, taxes are increasing for every single working American. And it appears no "fiscal cliff" proposal or provision being offered by the White House, Democrats, or Republicans will alter this fact.
The tax every working American will be hit with? The payroll tax increase.