Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year 2013

Okay, help me out here, informed readers.

The 112th Congress formally comes to an end on January 3, when the new session's members will be sworn in.

Whatever the Senate has done, if the House hasn't done likewise, won't count once the 112th session expires.

So ... the possibility of the big 'compromise' every one is talking about turns on a 2 day difference between two different deadlines.

We've already gone off the 'cliff.' The Bush tax cuts have expired, we are living in 2013 with the pre-Bush tax rates formally back in force.

So, the Senators, by acting on Dec. 31, before the cliff, were able -- and will always be able -- to describe their action as raising taxes on 'those fat cats' (relative to 2012 law).

But members of the House, by acting on the 1st or 2d of 2013, will be able to describe their actions as a tax cut, relative to the new/resurrected/Clinton-era rates, if they pass the same bill. So of course they haven't violated any pledge they may have signed not to raise taxes, because the tax increase took place automatically, not by their vote, and they will then have voted to lessen it slightly, i.e. to decrease taxes.

Is that it?

If it isn't brilliant, it is insane. I can't decide which.