Monday, January 7, 2013

Reflecting on the Fiscal Cliff


The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) was passed by the United States Congress on January 1, 2013. President Obama signed the bill into law on January 2nd.

Writing for the Associated Press, Alan Fram has called it "Congress' excruciating, extraordinary New Year's Day approval of a compromise."



The U.S. Senate approved the bill first by a bipartisan margin: 89–8. Three Democrats and five Republicans voted against. The House passed the bill by a vote of 257–167. Note again the bipartisanship: 85 Republicans and 172 Democrats voted in favor while 151 Republicans and 16 Democrats were opposed.

The final votes on the bill came near the last possible minute on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day: just before the end of the Congressional session. (All pending legislation expired when the 112th Congress ended at 12 noon on January 3, 2013.)

Reactions have been strong... and mixed:

Janet Hook of The Wall Street Journal wrote: "the compromise bill... represented the largest tax increase in the past two decades."

On the other hand, Jonathan Weisman wrote in The New York Times that the compromise "makes permanent virtually all of the Bush tax cuts — a goal that Mr. Bush chased through the rest of his presidency."

You are a well-informed, engaged citizen... what are your thoughts on the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 - IS THE COUNTRY BETTER OFF BECAUSE OF THE DEAL?

92 comments:

Bryce H. said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does little to address the issues of debt and deficit that are weighing on the United States. However, it gives Congress two extra months to avoid the fiscal cliff and stop the United States from sliding back into a recession.

While the Act does little to better the country's economic situation, it prevents further damage. Congress must cooperate and do what is best for the future of America by passing legislation to eliminate the deficit.

Anonymous said...

Sabeeh Khan:
I think the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is just a policy to declare that Congress had avoided the Fiscal Cliff. President Obama proposed a tax plan that would raise $1.6 trillion, and John Boehner had a plan raising $800 billion. However, Congress had sided on a deal that raise $600 billion over ten years, an amount that will only solve minor problems. Jonathan Weisman from the New York Times believes that the $600 billion is only about one fifth of the revenue had Congress gone over the fiscal cliff.

Conor said...

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is beneficial to the nation because the terms of this act are less detrimental to the country as a whole than the consequences of going over the fiscal cliff. Since no solution that was proposed suited everyone, the nation had to pick the next best option. However, it was necessary to not finalize the entire act before a phenomenal solution had been found. Since discussions are now set to resume in two months, the leaders have time to revise this solution and make it better.

Erika I said...

Although the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) does not directly address spending cuts - it is a step in the right direction when it comes to our nation's economy. The tax increases (39.6%) for those who make over $450,000 is a start to decrease our national debt. This plan being passed shows that Congress is actively working to reach a solution, and the 2 month extension to reevaluate spending cuts will hopefully yield an effective and progressive addition to the plan. Even though the plan certainly isn't perfect, both sides can agree that at least some advances were made that prevented the United States from going over the fiscal cliff. The plan was not ideal to everyone, but it is a step in the right direction.

-Erika I

Will.S said...

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was essentially a plan that was passed to avoid the fiscal cliff. No one could really agree with each other, but everyone felt pressured to pass something. Obama wanted a tax plan that would raise 1.6 trillion, and Boehner wanted to pass a plan raising 800 million. The passed 600 million plan seems a little random and pressured to me. However, I believe in was necessary to pass at least something, and extending the Bush Tax Cuts is indeed a good thing. This passed bill will allow more thought to be done in creating a better solution as discussion will continue in a few months.

Amanda Kadesky said...

The passing of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 has not really left the US in any better situation that we already were. The only thing in the Bill that is actually needed is the increase in taxes for those earning $450,000 or more. The plan though doesn't even make a dent on the $1.1 TRILLION in debt that is looming over the country.

As long as congress does not stop here I an content, but they should get back together to discuss and try to pass something that includes spending cuts, which is the most important thing right now. My one issue is that I am not quite confident Congress will do anything besides this. They might just leave the country as it is, and wait for their Bill to "work."

Anonymous said...

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, as Jonathan Weisman wrote "makes permanent virtually all of the Bush tax cuts." The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 only made it possible for the United States to avoid the Fiscal Cliff, but really did nothing to help any of the other problems our nation is facing. The older generation is continually making the problem worse, by just putting band aids on the problems. The deficit problem is not even close to fixed and the taxes do very little to help anything because we have already spent the money we will earn of those taxes. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not help the situation we have been faced with. For right now, The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is a solution that was not well thought out and simply eases the pain that they have caused. Hopefully in the future, Washington will create a solution that works, but the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is not that solution.

-Meredith Tadewald

Connor said...

What can I say about the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012? This plan is incredibly lazy and overall irresponsible for our government. These people couldn't come up with a better solution after an entire month or more? The only good thing that came from this was the fact that it extends conversation about another possible solution to the problem. The government has yet to address government spending, and the fact that they barely raised government income says that this solution has no thought involved in it. Raising one groups taxes isn't going to get rid of the deficit. It isn't just one tax brackets responsibility to fix the deficit. President Obama should have been more directly involved in this too; it is part of his power. This solution is a disaster and I honestly hope something better comes soon.

Connor said...
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Connor said...
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Amy K Berry said...

I do understand why the American Tax Payer Relief Act was passed I do not agree with the bill. No one really wanted the U.S. to go over the fiscal cliff but even after passing the bill our country is in the same place we were in at the end of last year. After raising taxes and doing nothing about spending our govenment projects that they will take in $600 billion over the next 10 years or $60 billion a year. Congress has already spend the $60 billion they would take in on relief for Hurricane Sandy. With that spending we havent even made a dent in our spending or our debt. I do not see this bill doing the country any good in the long run.

Michael Roseman said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 in simple terms is a plan that has been put into action to avoid the fiscal cliff and to buy more time. While this act may not specifically be suited for fixing the problems of the fiscal cliff, I believe it was necessary to at least put this act forward. While both Republicans and Democrats may not agree on the specifics of fixing the fiscal cliff problem, this act allows both sides to resume their talks. Although Obama wanted the tax plan to raise $1.6 trillion and Boeher wanted a plan to raise $800 million, I believe the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is a stepping stone on the path to solving the problem of the fiscal cliff.

Sarah Colley said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was a huge dissappointment to America, but the other option was a lot worse, in my opinion. The Act raised taxes for those making $450,000 per year, and the taxes stayed the same for the rest of the country. I agree with raising taxes for those makeing $450,000 per year, but I think they should have raised taxes for more people. I also think that they should have set some rule on spending cuts. Despite all of the problems with this act, I would have voted for it, because it is better than the alternative.

Thomas N said...

I believe the majority the the united states is safe for the moment but by pushing the fiscal cliff deadline did really nothing regarding the debt and spending cuts. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not leave the country better off because it does not address the federal debt, causing us to plunge deeper into a problem that our countries leaders are struggling to solve. I think this act is more of a stalling act to push back the consequences of falling off the cliff.

CoreyWands said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does absolutely nothing in regards to the deficit we face. A minuscule 600 billion in revenue over ten years as well as postponed mandate cuts prove to us citizens that our government cannot make a compromise beneficial to our country. Unfortunately the Fiscal Cliff still remains, and until Republicans and Democrats can come to terms we are due for a harsh plummet over the cliff.

Paige said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is a weak attempt to tackling Americas 1.1 trillion dollar debt. Only a small portion of taxpayers witness an increase in tax rates. Although that satisfies many Americans who didn't want a tax increase, it decreases the amount of money generated per year to combat this national debt. In addition, spending cuts were avoided completely. It is crucial to reach a compromise on this piece of the debt problem. Overall, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does little to contribute to Americas outstanding debt - $600 billion over ten years - and leaves me, along with many others, desiring more.

TristanC said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does almost nothing for the country but had to be passed. The Act does very little in solving the issue of the fiscal cliff, but in all helps our country come closer to fixing it. The Act only focuses on tax increases and just ignored spending cuts. However, Congress said discussions on spending cuts will resume in two months. If they end up agreeing on a great plan for spending cuts than the American Taxpayer Relief Act will be a success. At least with this act the government is taking some action in solving our nations debt.

Will A said...

I believe that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is simply a way of avoiding the fiscal cliff and adding no benefit to the American economy. The simply raise of taxes to those who make over $450,000 is not enough to solve the $1.1 trillion yearly deficit. The country is not better off with this deal, unless congress is able to make considerable budget cuts within the two month extension. If no budget reform is made, then this deal does not help America.

Jamie Quirk said...

I am not favor of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, but I believe it's a start to improving our national debt. It is also good that 99% of people's income taxes weren't raised.
However, nothing was addressed that will reduce our deficit, in fact the bill that was passed increases government spending by an amount more than the revenue increase, adding to our deficit and debt.
For example, the big spending cuts issue including the military was put off for two months so in essence, we have done nothing to reduce our overall debt, we have just added to it.

Ellen.v14 said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 just shows how unwilling to act our government is capable of being. Although it is a step in the right direction, I expected something a little more drastic. This "plan" over a ten year period barely even comes close to raising the amount of revenue had we just gone off the fiscal cliff. It still is unbelievable the procrastination that government has had when it comes to addressing the outrageous federal spending. In the next 2 months they have to thoughtfully decide where to make cuts and start to take responsibility for their irresponsible spending. Until they do that I will not be satisfied with the direction this country is going in. Another point that I think is upsetting is how Republicans have completely let the Democrats take control. Republicans are beginning to step back in order to maintain an image of not being the "bad guys" in our government. Considering the unpopularity of the GOP in this past election I understand why they need to do this, but they should not let Democrats control them, and ignore their opinions. Overall I can see that they tried to make a temporary solution, but our government could have produced something that truly could help us in the long run, not delay a much needed solution.

SahilV said...

I believe that Taxpayer Relief act does indeed make the country better off. Going off the fiscal cliff would result in HUGE hits to consumer confidence. At the very least, the compromise avoided that sort of economic downturn. In fact, the market responded positively to the deal and the NSYE showed positive gains following the deal.

Going off the cliff would result in far too much austerity far too fast. Even though the deal that we came to was undeniably imperfect and will have to be revisited in two months, the economy doesn't nose dive and maintains some marginal level of stability.

Travis S said...

I would not of accepted the bill because it is not really making a huge impact on saving us from the fiscal cliff. It was obviously a compromise to buy the government more time to come up with a solution and put off the fiscal cliff for about two months. The "plan" does not fulfill the purpose of the fiscal cliff. The purpose is to end the fiscal cliff as a whole, not just put it off. It was a failure. America will be worse off when the two months come to an end, and the solution to fix the fiscal cliff will be harder because the government procrastinated. Lack of Leadership.

- Travis

Mark_Moebius said...
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Mark_Moebius said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is just a way of stalling and pushing the hard decision making down the road. The Government's decision shows how unwilling today's President is to disappoint the public. He would rather have a positive image than make the right decision, since it would make many people unhappy. You can't be solely a "people-pleaser" in an important leadership role. The country is not better off after this act, even though some people may be happy with the decision at this moment.

Danielle said...

I personally am not in favor of The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. I don’t necessarily agree with the repealing of the CLASS act. This is a good starting point, however the deficit isn’t as closely addressed, as I would have suggested. I do not think our country is better off with this plan. I agree with Jeb Hensarling about the balance of spending cuts and taxes. It is not balanced. I do believe more could have been done to fix the spending cuts, instead of specifically focusing on just taxes. However, this plan is better than just talking about the fiscal cliff. At least there is an action taking place.

Morgan E said...

This bill was Congress' way of saying that they did something regardless of whether or not it was what was best for thhe country. The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is going to be one of the most ineffective solutions congress could have come to. Congress needed to spend more time coming to a solution that could actually solve the issues that they are faced with. The lack of compromise on either side was pitiful. Both republicans and Democrats failed compromise. I understand that working together can be difficult especially when opinions and egos run high but as elected leaders of this country they have a responsibilty to put aside personal agendas and do what is best and they failed in that aspect.

Morgan Eastman

Katie Rostamo said...

I believe that The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not really do anything for the country, and especially does not help our spending, but was at least better than doing nothing. It is a start and they can come back in two months and come up with a much better plan. Going over the fiscal cliff would have been much harder and this plan shows that at least something is beginning to be done. It is a very weak plan though and a much better plan must be made if we want any positive change in our country. This plan was at least a little better than going over the fiscal cliff.

Shea S said...

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was, over all, beneficial to our country. Even though the act pushed back spending cuts that could've helped relieve long-term debt, the tax raises that were proposed raise money and are not a crippling tax to most American Citizens. The Act was less harmful to the economy than going over the fiscal cliff would've been for the stock market and the nation's GDP. The Act also implied that spending cuts would be addressed at some point in the future, making it better than going over the fiscal cliff.

Scout S. said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does absolutely nothing in regards to the deficit we face. With that being said I think its a good start to what we need to work for. We only fixed one part of the problem by raising taxes they haven't done anything regarding budget cuts. I do not believe that our country is better off with this plan and I believe that there could have been more done but there was just too much arguing. Unfortunately the Fiscal Cliff is still here, both parties are going to continually fight until they can come to terms.

Sadie Rinker said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 did little to nothing for our country. It was a way to try and avoid going over the Fiscal Cliff. It is not beneficial for our economy, because just raising the taxes to those who make over $450,000 is not enough to solve the $1.1 trillion yearly deficit. It shows how our government is so incapable to come together to solve a problem. The government continually procrastinates when needing to solve a problem about federal spending, or anything in that matter. In the next 2 months government will need to work together to make thoughtful decisions on where the cuts need to be maid, but also speak up about their carless spending. Even at the end of these next two months, if things don't turn around, I still will not be satisfied with the way our country is heading. But to get our country in the right direction, both parties will need to work together. Which means Republicans cannot let the Democrats stomp all over them so that the Democrats will get what they want. The Republicans need to suck it up and just do what they think/know is right. If that means their image will become inferiors this so be it. Our country needs people who will step up and act for what will do better for our country. I see that they tried to make a temporary solution, but in the end our government still has produced nothing that can truly help our country for the days and years to come. They can't keep pushing the solutions back because our country needs to start getting back on track as soon as possible.

TC said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is only slightly better than the alternative. In other words, no, the country might better off with this deal than no deal at all but it is a settled-for deal. It doesn’t seem to do anything. The deal doesn’t help lower the debt and it doesn’t really help anything else either. All Washington did was attempt to please people by getting something done, but it didn’t really matter to them what was done. But by postponing spending cuts, they allowed for some correction. Now they have 2 more months to come up with a working plan that might accomplish something. Still, it is sad that they couldn’t work to create a decent solution in the first place.

Tori Chitwood

Anonymous said...

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not provide a viable solution for our long term deficit. This act once again postponed a majority of the key issues, in major, spending cuts. It is absolutely ridiculous that the United States once again had to postpone issues that have been a priority for years. Although a majority voted in favor of the Taxpayer Relief Act, I personally do not believe it provides any positive future for the United States. Going over the Fiscal Cliff, while refining it, would have been a better solution, because then at least, our country is headed in the right direction. As of now, our deficit is still on the rise, while our country is on the decline.

Brent Friedman

Abby J said...

No, the country is not better off. Our government had an opportunity to create a plan to cut spending AND raise taxes. However, this plan did not cut any spending, and just hiked up the taxes on the top 1%. These families taxes have increased from 33% to 39.6% which will only create 60 billion dollars a year. Although this is a starting point, the government should have cut more spending instead of freezing many of these programs for another year. Boehner said that he wants, “significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt” (StarTribune Fram). He is absolutely right, if the government does not cut spending in the benefit programs like Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid the country will go into a deeper debt than we are already in. Needless to say that this so called fiscal cliff “compromise” was a step in the right direction, but the government is going to have to really work on cutting spending.
Abby Jennings

Sarah Velvin said...

I think that The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 did very little for our country and the deficit problem. Even though it was a compromise to avoid the fiscal cliff this plan does not solve the problem. Raising these taxes on the 450,000 plus would only bring in around 6oo billion dollars over 10 years which does not solve our deficit problem. The government needs to cut spending to be able to reduce our deficit more but they postponed this issue for two months. The government has two months to find a plan that will cut spending and reduce our deficit. They should have plenty of time to create a reasonable plan for spending cuts. Although this act did make us avoid the fiscal cliff it does not solve the nation’s problem.

Jake Fletcher said...

No, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is not capable of actually helping our country in any way shape or form. Yes, it increases the "wealthy" people's taxes but how is 60 billion dollars a year going to change anything when we are speaking in terms of 1.1 trillion dollars of debt each year? It has absolutely no positive effect on the U.S. citizens whatsoever. On the other hand, it would've helped somewhat if the government actually passed some type of spending cut, but they post-poned it for two more months. That is the main thing the government needs to deal with is the spending. If you stop spending, you solve the fiscal cliff, and yes even though that's easier said than done, something bigger has to happen than a simple 600 billion dollar tax act.

Morgan W. said...

American Taxpayer Relief of 2012 is showing citizens that our government is trying to take the easy route. The government could find a better way to use their money rather than doing what is convenient to them. They need to take more time on figuring out what is most important to everyone and be able to fix the problems. Although the thought was there on doing something good it had no outstanding affect on what will happen in the future.

Nicole :) said...

The United States of America is not better off because of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The big part of this plan was to increase taxes by 4.6% on the top 1%, or households that earn more than $450,000 a year. This would essentially give us $60 Billion, while our deficit is $1.2 Trillion. I believe we need to do more than this. There were no spending cuts, which would've cut a lot more out of the national deficit. I almost think it would've been better if we just went over the cliff, considering it wouldn't have been as harsh as everyone made it out to be. I can understand why the bill passed, because they needed to do something, but I believe the Congress needs to work on doing more for our Country's debt. Although this was a slight movement in the right direction, we need more spending cuts.

Alienor R said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 hardly effected the income for the government. Only taxing the top 1 percent of America brings in a small income of only 60 billion a year. It also is not right to increased taxes on one socioeconomic level; either all levels should be taxed or none at all. This problem is shared among ALL Americans and should not be resolved by just the income of one socioeconomic level. Spending levels need to be cut as well. Just increasing taxes will not solve the fiscal cliff. Spending needs to be cut as well so the tax money effects America more efficiently. The country is not better off with this deal. I believe it is better than nothing, yet a better deal is necessary to solve this national debt crisis.

Kenzie B. said...

The American Taxpayer Relief of 2012 is in no way helping the country. The tax increases on the wealthty is only producing $60 billion which is nothing when you compare it to the deficit which is $1.2 trillion. Of course, these tax increases are better than going over the fiscal cliff, but the government shouldnt have waited so long to start looking for a way out it. They should have started early and come up with spending cuts that are actually going to make a difference when it comes to the deficit.

Anonymous said...

I think that the American Taxpayer Relief does not do enough about the problems of debt and deficit. It cut very little spending, like it should have in order to increase surplus. Although it does give Congress another two months to keep us from falling off of the fiscal cliff, I do not think that will be enough to keep the US out of a recession. The Act prevents further damage, but at the same time will not help us make any progress.

-katy w

Meagan Ellis said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is not the best choice for our country. Although the alternative of going over the fiscal cliff is worse, this is not going to help the country and only worsen the debt crisis. If we did go over the cliff at least we would be making some serious spending cuts and getting somewhere. This is an easier route for congress to take, but it is also a safer one.

GriffinL said...

I believe that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was a plan that was not well thought out enough. Although I am not a proffessional in economics, putting heavy weight on tax can create many top tax payers to be angry. I believe they should have put more into spending cuts because raising the tax on the top 1% is not fair, i believe atleast all people should pay taxes. Although, it is still better then what the original fiscal cliff was going to do. Atleast the plan was better than what was supposed to happen, but i believe they should ahve worked harder in finding a solution.

Jazmine W. said...

Yes, if you think about what would happen if they would have done nothing. I feel like this was a last minute thing and they had to propose something. But I don't completely agree that it was the right choice. If the congress would have decided earlier or put in more effort, it could have been better. When there is a decision made there is always someone who complains and doesn't like it.

george said...

This act was an absolute flop. We are in still in this quagmire and slowly sinking at the same rate we were last year. This bill raised $60 billion yet on day 1 of the new congress it was spent on disaster relief. My answer is no. This bill was a flop and each congress member needs to realize that we are taking note of their failure.

Cole said...

The resolution that congress mustered up is clearly not perfect, but it does the job for now. The job that I refer to is not necesarily reducing the defecit, but rather it is avoiding the fiscal cliff. The fall off the cliff would be detrimental to the American economy. The plan is not satisfactory, to say the least, However, the American people are better off, or at least 99% of them. The congress will come up with a greater plan to reduce the overzealous spending that Obama permits. America will move on.

Maya S said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act was passed as a compromise by Congress to avoid the looming fiscal cliff brought on by the expiration of several taxes in 2013. Democrats and Republicans were unable to reach a decision about how to approach the fiscal cliff for several months. The newly passed act, in my opinion, was a necessary solution to the fiscal problem. By raising taxes only for those who make over $450,000 annually, Congress avoided a tax increase for the middle class that could have had serious negative effects on the state of poverty. On the other hand, raising taxes for a wider bracket of upper class Americans would have been beneficial, even though asking the people to make a sacrifice is hard. I think that the compromise is not a solution to all of America's fiscal problems as it fails to address spending; however, it is a necessary step towards a more stable economy.

Leonel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leonel said...

I believe that the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was necessary to be passed for the meantime since it would keep the US from falling into the fiscal cliff in the beginning of the year. However, I don't like how Congress didn't focus enough on the spending cuts and left it practically as it was in 2012. I do like how it increases taxes on those with $450,000 per year and leave those who make under $450,000 per year alone since it will try to stabilize the wealth between those who have their taxes increased and those who don't. It may not be perfect but at least it is better than not doing anything and letting the US plunge into the fiscal cliff.

Brandt Wood said...

Brandt Wood:
Although the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 allowed the nation to successfully avoid the "fiscal cliff," it is by no means a permanent solution. Taxes were increased, as was necessary, but more should have been done to cut government spending. As of now, the military appears to be the best sector to cut spending for. Unless spending amounts are dramatically decreased, we will surpass the debt ceiling in no time. The country dodged a bullet because of the deal, but another one is coming straight for our nation.

Sophia R said...

The country is not better off with the compromise Congress and the President made. Both sides had the chance to propose a plan for a short term economic growth in the country but neither did, leaving America without any advantages. Although this compromise did avoid the fiscal cliff, it left other subjects to be dealt with in a couple of months. I do not see how the country can be better off if important issues are being put off until later days- it does not solve the problem, it only makes it bigger.

Anonymous said...

William L:
The American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 did not help us as American's very much. The "Fiscal Cliff" was put in place by the last congressional meeting in hopes that by the end of 2012 we would have a solution to the oncoming recession. The American Tax Payer Relief Act only postponed the recession by a couple of months to give us more time to discuss how to fix this problem. This should not be the way our government works, if we keep putting off important issues . We need to tackle this problem with a sense of urgency.

Anonymous said...

As for tax increases, the Taxpayer Relief Act helped avoid the "fiscal cliff." It protects 99% of taxpayers which is good for the economy because it keeps more money in the pockets of consumers who will spend it to boost the economy. Congress was running out of time to form a solution to the "fiscal cliff" so they addressed the tax increases because it was easier to come up with a solution that both houses of Congress would pass for that instead of a solution for the spending cuts side of the "fiscal cliff." This allows for a couple more months to come up with a solution for the spending cuts side of the "fiscal cliff." As for avoiding the "fiscal cliff," the country has avoided it for now with a solution to the tax increases, but there is still a possibility that our country will go off the "fiscal cliff" on the spending cuts side of things.

Chandler N.

Ericka G said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not help The United States with the deficit the country encounters. Although this Act is a start for the Government to improve our debt it still basically does nothing for the deficit. The bill that was passed increases government spendings.The increase in spendings adds on to the deficit. Instead of the government helping it is adding on to the debt. Going over the Fiscal Cliff would have been a lot more challenging. This Act shows that the Government is attempting do something about the deficit.

Zoe Quigley said...

I believe that The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was a good beginning to the end of the Fiscal Cliff, but is in no way a solution to the problem. For the most part it only offers a partial fix to half of the problem at hand. The Act does a lot to increase existing taxes, but does almost nothing in reducing government spending. With things as they currently are, the national debt may go down a little, but the deficit will not move. The resolution to the fiscal cliff is to reduce both of these things. However the year has only just begun and the government has made a relatively good start.

Drew C said...

It appears to me that the government has yet again let it's citizens down and made another act that simply does not do enough and simply seems to postpone the inevitable. While it seems that yes they are trying to do something good but they just never seem to do enough for the citizens and need to do a better job all around actually solving problems.

Tony de Bruyn said...

The American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2102 was a solution to the fiscal cliff that helped avoid the problem. Although this solution is nowhere near perfect enough to be permanent. This solution gave the government more time, and helped avoid an economic disaster for the United States. More spending cuts must be made especially in the defense sector to help our country avoid the debt ceiling. The Government will need to work together in the coming months to find a more permanent solution.

Corbin C said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is only preventative because it only stops us from going over the fiscal cliff. It Saves us 600 billion over 10 years but while our debt is rising at 1.1 trillion a year that 600 billion isnt even a dent in the debt. The act postpones the inevitable.

Davis D said...

I believe the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is simply a way to get around fiscal cliff, and in no way is it helping our economy. On the bright side, it shows effort done by our government, but at the same time it really doesn't as it was pushed back until the final minutes. No real spending cuts were made, and nothing was done to reduce long term debt. Which if you look at it, $600 billion over a ten year span is what most Americans are complaining about. It honestly frustrates me that our government would wait until the final seconds in addressing federal spending. It's about time our government takes responsibility for their excessive spending and make cuts where cuts are needed. Something of this caliber should be taken care of way ahead of time. So we are definitely not better off with this deal and pray that they revise and make something out of this excuse of a solution two months from now.

Jodie R. said...

I believe that the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 is a stop gap measure that does not address the overall problem. The issue is that our government annually spends more than it takes in in revenue, which pushes us closer and closer to the debt ceiling. Like any family or individual learns you cannot spend more than you take in, or eventually you will be bankrupt. Over the next couple of months the government should come up with a solution that solves more of the issue.

Katie C said...

The American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 did not help the country in the long term. It is a short term solution to delay and avoid the bigger problem that lies ahead. The government needs to raise more revenue or spend less money in order for anything to actually change. This Act made a small impact in the problem, leaving more political fights to come. Although they have raised the taxes, making some progress, they need to come to an agreement on solutions that benefit the country rather than the political parties' agendas.

Thomas J. said...

This nation is certainly not better off due to the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. It is essentially a punishment upon the American citizens for the Federal Government's excess spending and lack of budget control. The primary raising of taxes on those making above $400,000 annually is going to devastate small business owners, the driving force behind our economy.
The failure of the Super Committee to form a bipartisan plan to reach a $1.6 trillion budget in a ten year period will forever scar this nation's economy. This nation should have simply gone over the fiscal cliff because automatic sequestration would have produced a much larger amount than the compromised $600 billion budget plan.

Celeste L. said...

Just like every other act and bill before now, the American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 is just delaying the inevitable. It just seems to avoid the impending crisis this nation needs to face. The debt has taken hold of the U.S. for a long time now and with the rate government is going at, it won't be letting go anytime soon. It may raise taxes for the higher income individuals, but it isn't doing nearly enough to begin to solve the bigger issue. The budget cuts need to be decided and enacted soon. I know it can't happen instantly, but wasting time trying to think of a solution that will make everyone happy is insane. No matter what, there will be some people that are unhappy with the chosen budget cuts, but its better than nothing.

Nic said...

The first thing I notice is the deduction for certain expenses for elementary and secondary school teachers. This is huge and shows that some teachers are getting what they want and can finally afford to live life as a teacher on low wage. However, this Taxpayer Relief Act does not seem to address certain problems rather than avoiding them and pushing them away for a later time. It notes ideas worthy of exploration such as the work opportunity tax credit, but does not go in depth nor into the matter at hand at all. As Mr. Wasserman would say, America needs to poop or get off the pot on this one. If Acts like this continue to pass, America is not completing anything. Get your poop together America.

Blair Moore said...

The American Taxpayer Act of 2012 is just a way to push back the real problem of the fiscal cliff and in no way helps our nation out. This act will raise taxes for those making more than $400,000 a year and will help the economy a little bit, but no where near the amount we need. But since this act is set in place our government really needs to come to an agreement on spending cuts. And since this act gives the government more time, there should be no reason on why they can't come to an agreement on spending cuts. The government has had more than enough time to come to agreement and will hopefully come to an agreement within the next couple months.

Ford Noble said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was a left bound delay to a monster we created. It does not benefit our nation it merely avoids disaster. Putting ANYTHING into place before the fiscal cliff would have been better than going over it, but this solution helps nothing. The democrats got exactly what they wanted as demonstrated by the votes, and although it passed, what other choice did we have? The only choice the republicans had was to pass it, because it's better than nothing. It may generate 60 billion a year due to taxes, but the spending is where the problem is. We CAN'T spend money WE DONT HAVE. In 2 months we are going to have to go to war with this monster we created yet again, but this time we will have to face what really matters. Until then, this delay we call a fix is merely a 2 month patch. We have a lot of trouble ahead of us.

Adam Mitchell said...

The American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 basically helped our country in the sense that it gives us more time to solve the problem. Although it seems like its just putting it off the crisis it helped avoid an economic crisis. The American Tax Payer Relief Act of 2012 is giving the government time to perfect the plan to help raise more money to solve this problem.

Anonymous said...

The American Taxpayer Act of 2012, when we think about it is nothing more than a postponing of our fall off the cliff. Congress argued way too long and therefore had to make a last minute decision which is nothing short of a joke to American Taxpayers in our country. Congress was expected to come up with something big and it seems as if they were extremely excited to go on vacation, and put half the effort needed. And yes, this solution is better than our previous policy, but it will not last very long without us falling off the cliff.

CHRISTIAN HARLE
GUCCI

Anonymous said...

The American Taxpayer Act of 2012, when we think about it is nothing more than a postponing of our fall off the cliff. Congress argued way too long and therefore had to make a last minute decision which is nothing short of a joke to American Taxpayers in our country. Congress was expected to come up with something big and it seems as if they were extremely excited to go on vacation, and put half the effort needed. And yes, this solution is better than our previous policy, but it will not last very long without us falling off the cliff.

CHRISTIAN HARLE
GUCCI

BraydonLilley said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 may be a current solution to our fiscal cliff, but it isn't enough to fix our debt. The solution won't fix our debt because it only deals with our taxation, which was't increased by much throughout the act. Also, it doesn't deal with perhaps the more important half of the Fiscal cliff- Government spending. Government spending was essentially undealt with, while it is perhaps the U.S. largest loss of money. The only part of the plan dealing with government spending was when it stated that the debt should not be increased. However, this is false because within the first week of the new year, the government handed over billions to hurricane Sandy victims. This proves that this solution to this fiscal crisis cant be long term because it just isn't working. We need to create a long term solution if we ever hope to get out of debt.

BraydonLilley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bailey Cummings said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not better our country. The american citizen is having to suffer the consequences of the federal governments lack on financial control. Taxing people more who make over 400,000 dollars a year is going to give the rich less incentive to invest, creating a negative effect on the economy. If a plan was created to actually help this country then both parties would need to put their agendas aside.

Caroline said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not help the Fiscal Cliff problem. While it does help the deficit, it does not completely cover it. If the deficit isn't even fully covered then it only adds to the debt. To reduce our debt we need a surplus of incoming money which would not only come from taxing but also from budget cuts. Only taxing citizen that make over $400,000 a year will not give us enough money to reduce our debt. While it is a start, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does not create enough money to reduce to debt.

Caroline Mitchell

Sarah R said...

While the American Taxpayer Relief Act does give congress more time to figure things out and protects many lower and middle class citizens from major, sudden tax increses, it avoids the problems of spending cuts and the debt ceiling. Incresing taxes on 1% by 39.6% with no major spending cuts isn't going to be near enough to have a great impact on our national debt. It is a start though, and hopefully in the next two months congress will make greater steps to help our country and keep us from a recession.

Matt Johnsrud said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 only temporarily solves the problem with the Fiscal Cliff. It gives congress more time to ultimately develop a solution to better our country and reduce our debt. Until we cut spending to counter increased Taxes, the debt crisis will never be solved. Considering this is not a permanent solution, the progress we have made so far is promising. It came down to literally the last minute and something had to be done. Until more revenue is earned and spending is cut, the source of income is minuscule. Although this doesn't solve the ultimate issue, it's a step in the right direction to further improving our economy. Until both sides of the fight come together to form a solution, nothing will be done. Although this solution is only temporary, because of this the future is promising

Fergus de Papp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fergus de Papp said...

The American Taxpayer relief act of 2012 is not a permanent solution to the deficit. While it has tax increases, it does not include any major spending cuts. In order to balance the budget, the government will have to make several budget cuts, particularly in defense. Though the bill does not include everything needed to fix the deficit, it needed to be passed. If congress had not passed anything, there would be more economic uncertainty and the stock market would have suffered. I believe this nation is better off because of the bill.

-Fergus de Papp

gabbymstruckell said...

The American Taxpayer relief act of 2012 is a poor excuse to extend the effects of the fiscal cliff. Instead of coming up with an actual solution they raised some taxes, but then decided to discuss more spending cuts and tax raises after a couple months. They should know by now that postponing a solution is not the answer. It is time for the Republicans to speak up and come up with a plan on spending cuts that works for everyone. The Democrats should be more flexible in accepting the spending cuts because the Republicans have been flexible with the raising of taxes.

Laura Scully said...

The American Taxpayer relief act of 2012 was not a permanent solution to the debt. The tax increases are helpful to the debt, but the fact that there are no major spending cuts does not help the debt. The government needs to make major spending cuts to completely get rid of the debt. It was important for the government to pass the bill to somewhat release the deficit. The government made the correct choice to pass the bill because if they didn't, the economy and the stock market would have suffered more. Waiting for a total solution was not the answer to the problem because temporarily solving the solution set America up for more problems. The government needed to come up with more of a solution to help the whole problem.

Laura Scully said...

The American Taxpayer relief act of 2012 was not a permanent solution to the debt. The tax increases are helpful to the debt, but the fact that there are no major spending cuts does not help the debt. The government needs to make major spending cuts to completely get rid of the debt. It was important for the government to pass the bill to somewhat release the deficit. The government made the correct choice to pass the bill because if they didn't, the economy and the stock market would have suffered more. Waiting for a total solution was not the answer to the problem because temporarily solving the solution set America up for more problems. The government needed to come up with more of a solution to help the whole problem.

Caitlyn Shannon said...

The American Taxpayer relief act of 2012 will not fix the current economic standing. In fact, $600 million in 10 years will hardly aid it. To find a permanent solution to the current predicament the government will have to really think about how it will effect our standing in the future. At the moment we are in so much debt to foreign countries and our own taxpayers and citizens the $60 million a year won't help.

Anonymous said...

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is simply just a band-aid to cover up a large problem. Yes the act raised the taxes which will help, but only pushed the deliberation back. Everyone knows that you can't just raise taxes because that is not big enough of a change to fix the problem. The decision makers need to buckle down and get very serious about finding a probable answer to this serious fiscal cliff problem.

- Kylie Leeper

Andrew Haubenstricker said...

the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 is a sloppy, temporary solution to the fiscal cliff and will do very little to help the United States financial problems. This pathetic attempt to help our nation out of debt just shows how dysfunctional our federal government really is. decreasing the debt by 600 billion within the next ten years will hardly make a dent. Even though they did temporarily dodge the fiscal cliff, the pathetic plan will barely aid in the problems the United States have gotten themselves into.

Maria I. said...

Even though the American Taxpayer relief act of 2012 was a weak attempt to make sure we didn’t go over the fiscal cliff, it is better than nothing. The Republicans had to vote for this act because if they didn’t, we would have gone over the fiscal cliff. I believe this act will help fix some of the issues of the fiscal cliff, but not all. I wish this act had more ways to help with our debt. I agree with Senator Cornyn when he said, “our spending is unsustainable and it is high time the president and his party engage in meaningful dialogue to get this country’s spending under control.”

Karen Lefferts said...

The American Tax Payers Relief Act of 2012 permitted our country to be safe from the fiscal cliff, but it is not lasting solution. Taxes were undoubtably increased, but the problem still lies with the U.S Government. They need to stop spending money on unnecessary programs that do nothing to improve our country.The government is spending $750,000 on a new soccer filed for detainees at Guantanamo Bay(detention camp in Cuba)...

This is one of many examples of unnecessary spending. If government spending does not decrease, the U.S will transcend the debt ceiling.

-Karen L.

Eric Hernandez said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 did little to address the issues of debt and the deficit that the United States has. This act only taxed the top 1 percent of America which only brings in a small income of 60 billion a year which does little to our deficit. This act is better than doing nothing and going over the fiscal cliff. This plan did not include any spending cuts which would have helped a lot more to cut down our deficit. This bill only passed because something had to be done and it was better than doing nothing. This Relief Act was a last minute solution and did not include any spending cuts but just included people being taxed more.
-Eric Hernandez

Catherine Graass said...

The Tex Payer Relief Act of 2012 left the country better off than it would've been if we went over the fiscal cliff. Even what the country needed was a balanced plan where both sides compromised, only one side was willing to compromise. If the liberals would've made a compromise just like the conservatives did, we would be in a much better position right now. Obviously spending cuts need to be a part of the act and the liberals cannot get around it, they've just put it off. But in the end, we're better off than we would've been if we went over the fiscal cliff.
-Catherine G

MeaganF said...

Having the Tax Payer Relief Act in place leaves us better than we would be if we went over the fiscal cliff it is just another example of the American governments inability to come to an agreement on anything. The government has shown time and time again that it cannot do its job and just puts decisions off until it becomes almost a life or death situation.

justinator said...

The proposed plan was a complete disaster, as America watch and hoped that congress will finally make a reasonable effort to deal with the overwhelming pile of debt. But instead of actually make an effort to clean up their mess; they set the date back a couple of months. I would expect that of a 5-year old cleaning his room, only he is swimming through a pile of toys and clothes just chest high. You would think he would realize, “this is getting out of hand, maybe I should do something about it.” But the decision is a strangely surprising: no. Instead will set the date back a couple of months, and deal with clutter above my head. I can’t wait until February and see this exact process all over again. Maybe, as the parents, we should all do something about it.

Chase Correll said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act does not solve our Fiscal Cliff crisis, yet it does prolong the negative effects of what will happen if we go over the cliff. Over 10 years, the Act will raise about 600 billion dollars of revenue. This is not much help considering that we are racking in about 1.1 trillion dollars of debt annually. Even though this act will help us avoid the cliff, it is still necessary that we find a solution.

brian.g said...

The “compromise” that the government was just a way to stall for time to argue more about what to do. considering there was no compromise in the deal it was in fact a failure to fix our deficit. The only attempt to fix anything was when spending cuts were agreed upon that only fixed 10% of the deficit each year. There were no tax increases in on the rich, which leaves middle class americans helpless. In order for the government to fix the the deficit, and then the debt, would be to stay open minded and consider everything as a valid thought. The government will never find a solution if people in charge won’t accept change.

brian g

Kai Assoun said...

The American Taxpayer Relief Act does not solve our Fiscal Cliff, but it does prolong the negative effects of what will happen. Over a period of ten, 600 billion dollars of revenue will be made but this is not much compared to our 14 trillions of debt. This act will help avoid the cliff but will not solve all the problems.

Greg I said...

The American tax payer relief act clearly does not solve the problem of the fiscal cliff, but it does generate 600 billion dollars. This is not even close to the national debt, but it is a start. I think the act is not completely pointless. After all, it did get both parties to agree on passing the law. Being rational, the only way to clear the debt and not take a huge fall is to pay it off a piece at a time.