Washington (CNN) - So what is really in the fiscal cliff legislation?
Of course, there are the widely-known sticking points the two sides have been haggling over for weeks: extensions of the income tax cuts for middle and low-income earners, the current estate tax rate, and the alternative minimum tax.
But there's also a provision on two- and three-wheeled electric vehicles, renewable energy, and rum.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which passed the Senate early Tuesday morning, is a vehicle for a number of regular year-end tax extenders.
Among the extensions is the excise tax carry-over on rum produced in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It's a federal tax of which most is paid back to the islands.
There's also the extension of a tax credit for purchase of some electric vehicles with two or three wheels, such as scooters. It was a tax break included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and covers up to 10% of the vehicle's cost, or at most $2,500.
The tax document for that particular credit – Internal Revenue Service form 8834 – is one and a half pages, accompanied by two pages of instructions.
Congress also extended the "Indian employment credit" for businesses that hire individuals who are members of a Native American tribe, work on the tribal land, and live on or near the reservation.
And they extended the depreciation model for motor sports complexes – facilities that hold at least seven days of racing, seat at least 70,000 people, and have concession stands that benefit charitable organizations.
The legislation also included extensions of tax credits for research and development, low income housing, and an accelerated depreciation model for certain leasers and restaurants.
It included a number of energy tax provisions as well, including one relating to coal produced at "Indian coal facilities" and extensions of energy efficient home and appliance purchases.
How are the changes enacted?
For most extensions, it requires just a simple swap of the date.
"Subsection (g) of section 179E is amended by striking `December 31, 2011' and inserting `December 31, 2013,' " read the provision extending the mine safety equipment deduction. "The amendment made by this section shall apply to property placed in service after December 31, 2011."
– CNN's Gregory Wallace, Lisa Desjardins and CNNMoney.com's Caleb Silver contributed to this report
i have had enough. I do not care so much about the tax increase as I do about what is going to happen to the stock market over the nex week. I am sick and tired of these politicians doing what they do on my dime. Seening as how most of them are out only for themselves, millionaries, billionares and specal intererest groupls, I think that then they should be paying for their wages, benifits, pensions, etc. and not the American tax payer. They sure as hell do not deserve our money for a part time job. I am also sick and tired of any of them saying how this will effect their children. Dam right. the rich do not want their children to have to pay one dam dime more than they have too. Money is power and they do not want to lose it.
It's clear to me the GOP is operating under the delusion that the 2010 electorate is reflective of the 2012 electorate. Republicans better start understanding that the electorate is changing because Americans are sick of party politics being a barrier to progress! Keep it up GOP and you will see next year just how fed up Americans are with your games...
(wwf) Bitter are we?
people is getting sick an tried of this fiscal cliff whats the problem obama just should let all of you go home and he passes what bills is right for the pople
To funny, them law makers just can't make a simple bill to solve problems without special interests poking in.
I guarantee if any of this effected the political clowns in Washington more financially rather than trying to continue their continued lifetime political employment, a deal would have been struck 2 weeks ago.. Instead they hold the American people hostage with their bickering and partisan crap.. DC needs an enema..
@Name lynn, that is called a Monarchy. No thank you.
we need to start a grass roots effort to remove these obstructionist from office. They are holding the country hostage, and not willing to negotiate. They would rather put the country in another recession than agree to anything
We have Drs., Lawyers, and Indian Chiefs serving their own self interests on the hill who have had plenty of time to resolve this issue. House Republicans should hang their heads in shame.
If everyone in the country is tired of this time and time again problem that we face with this, to be generous, lack luster Congress, they we should fire them all and new Senators and Congressmen could do no worse. Those that are not up for reelection in two years should have a recall vote on them. This nonsince has to stop. Their duties include saving the taxpayer money, not just wildly spending it on booze, choclate covered strawberries as a certain female flys back and forth to California and has the reputation of being the nastiest person on Captial Hill. These elected officials are not doing their sworn duties after election. They only go party aligned and get nothing done. After an election party lines should end as they work for ALL American Citizens, just not their party affliated ones. Here is a few definitions I came up with for these nincompoops:
"Fizzikle Cliff", a scare tactic used by our Washington based political leaders of both parties try to deflect the fact they haven't been doing their jobs over the past year. Watch them now and, because they had to actually "work hardly", they will all take a month long holiday after their leader of the gang signs off on whatever BS they came up with.
"Party", An American term used to denote which of the groups of worthless legions in their own minds one feels will pay the most for their votes at the next election.
"Political Leaders" Individuals whose values change as soon as they drink the Washington water which caused them to be legends in their own minds.
"Representative" a common term used for both Congresspersons or Senators who represent anyone with more money to pass then the last group.
"Congress" A group of Representatives who constantly bicker, argue, accomplish little besides blow billions of dollars on worthless projects, graft, and corruption.
"Election" A once valued way of picking a political leader based on honesty, values, dedication, and plans for the future. Now days, all that is put aside and the main focus is buying votes with promises.
"Legislation" A process in which the original focus is lost and an entirely different law is enacted which no one expected.
"Speaker of the House" A figure of speech.
"Minority Leader" The leader of the party who lost the last election but has not lost the ability to swagger.
"Cabinet" Individuals who are friends, supporters, and contributors of the current POTUS who can be counted on to act as bobble head in decision making.
"Supreme Court" A group of politically aligned individuals who selected by Political leaders who adjust the laws of the land to bend in the direction and whim of the currently sitting Political leaders.
"Washington DC" in the 1700's it was a swamp with slimy critters slithering around in the muck. Today not much has changed although the critters now do bad things.
Pork, pork, and more pork.
Just sad really. Another year forward, and yet we are moving backward in many facets of life. It's almost as if the county is being defaced by the plight of an unseen spray can colored greedy green. I hear all this rhetoric about progress and change and moving forward, but the only thing that's going further is the agenda of those who are already so far ahead of the game that there only goal in life is to see if they can possibly spend as much as they have coming in. How can it be, that a country founded on the hopes and dreams of freedom, has become such a harboring force of oppression, secrecy and self servitude. If there could be a change of mindset, or all people, to give as well as to take, then perhaps we could one day call ourselves America the beautiful, and the rest of the world could see why. As is...I think it's just a disgrace. A sad, self centered, egocentric disgrace.
Can we have a recall vote on the T Party Republicans? Is it possible.
Once again the Republicans will not work with the Democrats to come up with a bill. Now Rep. Cantor is against the fiscal deal. He has been there working on this bill and he cannot find a way to support the bill that has been written.
This bill does not need to contain anything but a restoration of the tax cuts for the middle class and the elimination of the tax cut for those making over $400.000. The unemployment benefits need to be extended and there are one or two other items which need to be dealt with.
All other business can wait until the next session of Congress. Unfortunately, we have elected men and women who cannot support any bill unless their favorite projects are part of the bill. We need to say no and force our representatives to pass legislation which is necessary and to leave the rest until the next session. Why is so difficiult for Congress to do anything for the middle class?
"And they extended the depreciation model for motor sports complexes – facilities that hold at least seven days of racing, seat at least 70,000 people, and have concession stands that benefit charitable organizations."
Why are we subsidizing NASCAR? Aren't these the same voters who cry about big government? This should be the first line item vetoed by Prez Obama...99% of people who attend NASCAR events didn't vote for him anyway. LOL!
The GOP is going down in 2014, I can't see how they can survive after the way they've acted the last 4 years.
WE sure do need a new congress that understand why, We the Tax Paying People ,are up in arms about.
It is gov waste and entitlements. And gov growing to big for its pants. The libs so far have put next to nothing on the table to trims government spending. But they sure are ready to increase taxes on the working people.
Our potus is suposed to be a leader?? So why does he not put forth a plan. Maybe to busy standing in front of a media santioned outing blasting anything he don't like. He sure ain't a team player. He is No more than a spoiled little brat.
Had enough yet? If you have Vote against incumbency and help save a country and a constitution founded by God fearing people.
Cantor is the problem.
It all starts on the State level folks. "You" have allowed the parties to divide up their districts so each district is either a D or and R and that why they control who gets into office. Stop the gerrymandering and elect folks that are not party affiliated ! We will be in this same crap again and again if we do not stop it from happening !
Anyone notice the new taxable earning limit of $450,000 is just enough to keep their taxes from increasing?
Why can't our political leaders make a budget and stick to it? If they had to play by the same rules that the rest of us do then they would be overdrawn, and fined. Perhaps that is what needs to take place, have each one of them fined for going over the budget that they MUST make for the following year. Perhaps if they went up to and over the national debt ceiling they should all be fired, have their wages cut off, have their benfits all cut off, and most importantily have their retirment and health care cut off too. If some rule like that was in place, or if they were under Social Security, or under Obamacare, can you imagine how quickly they would get the proper corrections in place?
It looks as though the current Republicans in office function with the same pathetic mentality that their colleagues in the last administration did, i.e., the WMD mentality. The Republicans couldn't fix the problem then and they can't fix it now.
I think they should allow some of us intelligent taxpayers to decide what we want and don't want. All departments in the govenerrment should do zero based budgeting every year and make realistic appropriation requests. All departments shoudl review all things they do and if anything is not under the specific scope of the department, jettison it, as we have way too much departmental overlap. All departments should establish and fund an aggressive fraud hunting effort to find and ferret out the fraud, which wastes billions of dollars every year. Finally, all efforts at pork should be cut out and thrown to the curbs.