Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Tip of the Hat to the Vice President

It is not the deal the President wanted and you can “bet the farm” on that, but it was the American people and their voting power that got this deal done.
by Charlie Leck

Vice President Joe Biden made in clear to our legislators in Washington that the American people had spoken in this year’s election and said they wanted health and prosperity restored to the middle class and, through that, vitality to the nation’s economy.

A true compromise!
We stopped, right at the edge of the fiscal cliff. This piece of legislation, passed last night by the House of Representatives, was a true compromise and don’t believe anyone who says it wasn’t. The Democrats gave up plenty to allow this bill to happen. The party is aware that there will be some hikes in payroll taxes for people making less than $250,000, but those hikes will be minor. This is something on which the Democrats gave in. For those making over $450,000 the tax rate will rise from 35 to about 39.5 percent. In return for softening their demands, the Democrats managed to get a significant farm protection section added to the bill.

The legislation also calls for a rise in estate taxes, with the top rate rising to 40 percent; however, the first five million dollars of an individual estate would be exempt from taxes.

Unemployment benefits for the nation’s unemployed (who are seeking jobs) would extended for one year for those who have been unemployed for longer than 26 weeks.

Drastic spending cuts, created last year in the national debt extension debates, would be delayed for two months to allow for further negotiation about the debt limit.

Here’s what Biden made clear!
Joe Biden was a bulldog on this one! He hammered out a bill with Senators of both parties that everyone could agree to while holding their collective nose. Biden held the trump card in these negotiations and that was the fact that the American people had spoken loudly and clearly in the last election. As a candidate, President Obama had made clear what his position was and the voters had understood that and voted him back into office by a wide margin. Biden told all the legislators that their directions had come directly from the people.

Now the nation turns to looking at the next debt limit debate. Let’s hope Biden plays a major role in that debate also. This country has a long way to go to get back to fiscal health. The disaster started under a Republican administration that was too unrealistic about lowering the tax rate and reductions in federal spending. The nation’s infrastructure fell apart during that period of time and now we have a lot of catching up to do to fix a lot that was left in disrepair. It will be costly, but the expenditures will get the economy really rolling again.

Congratulations to the Vice President!


UPDATE: 2 January 2013 at 7:50 A.M.

The Minnesota Vote:
Those Minnesota Representatives voting against the House bill were Colin Peterson (Dem) and Republicans Michele Bachmann, Chip Craaveck and my Representative, Erik Paulsen.

The Minnesota Representatives voting for the House bill were John Klein (Republican) and Democratic Representatives Keith Ellison, Betty McCullum and Tim Walz.

Minnesota's two Democratic U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, voted for the Senate version of the bill.

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