I don’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat; you’re an accountant, and the avert-the-fiscal-cliff legislation that the federal government crapped out at the last minute hooks you up. Sure, you’re going to pay more in taxes, but Congress was actually able to bang out some long-term solutions to the expiring tax cuts which is going to make your life easier1.
Mr. McConnell said he concluded after the latest negotiations that the administration had “expressed a fundamental unwillingness” to agree to significant spending cuts.
“But after years of discussions and months of negotiations, I have little question that as long as this president is in the Oval Office, a real solution is unattainable,” Mr. McConnell said in a Senate floor speech. [WSJ]
Hours before a meeting with President Obama at the White House, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that any debt-ceiling deals that included tax hikes would be “politically impossible” in the current Congress because most Republicans and many Democrats oppose them.
“Those who are calling for tax hikes as a part of these debt discussions either have amnesia about the fate of similar votes just six months ago — when Democrats controlled both chambers of Congress as well as the White House — or they’re acting in bad faith, since we all know that including massive, job-killing tax hikes would be a poison pill,” said McConnell on Monday from the Senate floor. [The Hill]
Obama Among `Small Businesses’ Bearing Share of Tax on Wealthy [Bloomberg]
“Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says President Barack Obama wants to subject half of all small-business income to a tax increase, a move that he says would strike a blow at the U.S. job-creation engine.
McConnell’s numbers only add up if you consider people like billionaire investor George Soros, most movie stars and Obama himself small-business owners, tax experts say.
That’s because the lawmaker is basing his figure on a broad definition of the term that experts say includes authors, actors and athletes who employ few if any workers. It also encompasses businesses that many people wouldn’t consider small, such as Soros’s hedge-fund firm and major law partnerships.”
What Should We Do With the Estate Tax? [WSJ]
“any believe Congress will tackle the estate-tax question in the weeks before it adjourns, along with a slew of other tax matters. What’s likely to happen? Many think lawmakers will return the estate tax to its 2009 level—a $3.5 million exemption per individual and a top rate of 45%—and possibly raise the exemption. Heirs of those who die in 2010 may also get the choice of using 2009 rules. If lawmakers don’t step in, the tax will return in 2011 with a $1 million exemption per individual and top rate of 55%.”
Oprah — I’ll Pay the Taxes for My Aussie Giveaway [TMZ]
Locking up sainthood: “TMZ spoke with Larry Edema from Michigan — who was selected to be in the audience on Monday for Oprah’s big giveaway — and dude tells us Winfrey had a certified public accountant on hand to address the tax issue right after the taping.
Edema says the CPA informed the group that all taxes associated with the trip would be “handled by the Oprah show,” so the trip would truly be 100% free.”
BP oil spill well effectively dead, says US [FT]
“The US authorities pronounced BP’s blown-out Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico ‘effectively dead’ on Sunday, 152 days after the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig that caused the world’s largest accidental offshore oil spill.
The announcement ends the 5m barrel leak, which sparked fury among the US public and politicians, but may eventually be seen to have had only a marginal effect on the global energy industry.”
Your Coming Tax Cut (or Not) [NYT]
The Times breaks things down, in gray lady fashion, if all of the tax cuts are extended.
Deloitte Forecasts a 2 Percent Increase in Holiday Sales [PR Newswire]
Feds charge man shot by IRS agent in San Francisco [AP]
“Investigators say the IRS agent, 36-year-old Dena Crowe, was putting things into her car outside her home in the Bayview-Hunters Point neighborhood when she was confronted by a teen demanding money and Higginbotham pointing a shotgun at her.
Authorities say Crowe identified herself as an agent and fired her .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun at the suspects, who then fled on foot.”
Warren vows end to “tricks” with consumer agency [Reuters]
“Wall Street critic Elizabeth Warren said on Friday she accepted the job of setting up a consumer financial protection agency for U.S. President Barack Obama and declared that the time for financial ‘tricks and traps’ was over.
Obama was expected to announce his appointment of Warren, a Harvard University professor and hero to liberal activists, at 1:30 pm EDT, taking a step forward in enacting the financial reform that is a signature achievement of his presidency.”