There are four weeks left until we fall off (or slam into, pick your metaphor) the $600 billion fiscal cliff, and the parties find themselves at a stiff impasse. In the last few days, Rep. John Boehner and President Obama have scoffed at each other's cliff solutions. The speaker said the White House's offer was in "la-la land," objecting to the president's proposed tax hike on the wealthy. The White House said the Republican plan didn't provide enough balance, insisting a plan that only raises revenue from closing tax loopholes is not feasible. In short, the two sides aren't on the same page.
And the dealings get more complicated than Republicans vs. Democrats. John Boehner's plan has already come under fire from conservative groups for being too compromising on tax deducations.
So let's simplify this story into it's most basic part: What are the fiscal cliff propsals on the table?
- $1.6 trillion in new revenue by increasing tax rates on income over $250,000 a year.
- $600 billion in cuts to entitlements.
- $200 billion in economic stimulus. According to CNN, these could include extending the payroll tax cut, extending unemployment insurance, and funding infrastructure projects.
- $800 billion in revenue from tax reform. Republicans want to close certain loopholes and deductions, meanwhile reducing rates overall.
- $1.4 trillion in savings
-$600 billion savings in changes to Medicare and Medicaid.
-$300 billion in mandatory program cuts.
-$200 billion savings from tying the way the government establishes salaries and benefits to the consumer price index.
-$300 billion in discretionary spending cuts.