The back story on the “fiscal cliff” debacle, the House’s sad excuse for a compromise, and the contents of the fiscal cliff bill that became law on 1/3/13.
H.R. 8: THE OBAMA-SENATE FISCAL CLIFF BILL (SIGNED INTO LAW 1/3/13)
‘‘American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012”
TITLE I—GENERAL TAXES
SEC. 101. PERMANENT EXTENSION OF MOST 2001 BUSH TAX CUTS
- People making over $400,000 as individuals, or $450,000 as a couple, will be taxed at 39.6% instead of the current 35%
- Estate tax rate will be raised to 40% from 35%.
- No taxes on the first $5 million of inheritance.
SEC. 102. INCREASE CAPITAL GAINS TAXES TO 20%, FROM 15%
SEC. 103. EXTENSION OF 2009 STIMULUS BILL TAX CREDITS
5 year extension of college tax credits
- Total credit cannot exceed $2,500
- Tax credit decreases for families with gross incomes of $80,000 or $160,000 for a married couple.
5 year extension of the Child Tax Credit
- Eligible families receive $1,000 tax credit per child under age 17.
- Tax credit decreases for families with gross incomes of $75,000, or $110,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return.
TITLE II—INDIVIDUAL TAXES
SEC. 201. TAXPAYER DONATION TO SCHOOL TEACHERS’ SUPPLIES.
SEC. 203. BOSS-PAID PARKING AND TRANSIT FARE WILL NOT COUNT AS INCOME
TITLE III—BUSINESS TAXES
SEC. 301. TAX CREDIT FOR PRIVATE COMPANY RESEARCH
SEC. 306. TAX CREDIT FOR PRIVATE RAILROAD MAINTENANCE.
SEC. 307. TAX CREDIT FOR PRIVATE MINING COMPANIES’ SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND TRAINING
SEC. 312. TAX CREDIT TO PRIVATE ENTERTAINMENT RACETRACKS (NASCAR)
SEC. 317. TAX CREDIT FOR HOLLYWOOD MOVIE STUDIOS.
SEC. 318. TAX CREDIT FOR RUM PRODUCERS IN PUERTO RICO.
SEC. 322. TAX LOOPHOLE FOR MULTINATIONAL BANKS AND MANUFACTURERS.
- Multinationals, including banks since 1997, don’t have to pay taxes on money they earn through overseas subsidiaries.
- JP Morgan Chase, General Electric, Caterpiller paid for the legislation
SEC. 323. MULTINATIONALS WILL NOT PAY TAXES ON INCOME EARNED FROM THEIR SMALLER BUSINESSES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES
SEC. 328. USE TAX-FREE 9/11 RECOVERY BONDS TO BUILD MANHATTAN OFFICES AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS
- Goldman Sachs used this to get $1.6 billion tax-free financing for its new headquarters.
- Lloyd Blankfein met with President Obama in December
SEC. 330. TAX CREDIT FOR STARKIST AS THE LARGEST EMPLOYER IN AMERICAN SAMOA.
SEC. 331. TAX CREDIT FOR BUSINESSES BUYING SMALLER BUSINESSES
(Good Read: How did these business tax credits get into the fiscal cliff bill?)
TITLE IV—ENERGY TAXES
SEC. 401. TAX CREDIT FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT EXISTING HOMES.
SEC. 403. TAX CREDIT FOR 2- OR 3- WHEELED PLUG-IN ELECTRIC VEHICLES.
- 10% of the purchase price or $2,500.
- Must go at least 45mph
SEC. 404. TAX CREDIT FOR BIOFUEL PRODUCERS.
SEC. 405. TAX CREDIT FOR BIO-DIESEL AND RENEWABLE DIESEL.
SEC. 406. TAX CREDIT FOR INDIAN COAL FACILITIES.
SEC. 407. TAX CREDIT FOR WIND FACILITIES
SEC. 408. TAX CREDIT FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT NEW HOMES.
SEC. 409. TAX CREDIT FOR ENERGY-EFFICIENT APPLIANCES.
SEC. 501. FEDERAL UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE PAYMENTS WILL CONTINUE TO BE PAID
SEC. 503. TAX CREDIT FOR REEMPLOYMENT SERVICES
TITLE VI—MEDICARE AND OTHER HEALTH EXTENSIONS
SEC. 601. NO PAYMENT CUT TO MEDICARE DOCTORS
SEC. 642. REPEAL OF “CLASS” LONG-TERM HEALTH CARE PROGRAM.
SEC. 643. COMMISSION ON LONG-TERM CARE.
TITLE VII—EXTENSION OF AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMS
SEC. 701. EXTENSION OF FARM BILL UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2013
SEC. 802. NO PAY RAISE FOR CONGRESS
TITLE IX—BUDGET PROVISIONS
SEC. 901. TWO MONTH DELAY ON SEQUESTER CUTS TO GOVERNMENT
- Cuts must be ordered on March 1, 2013 and implemented on March 27, 2013.
H.R. 6684: THE HOUSE FISCAL CLIFF BILL (DID NOT BECOME LAW)
OFFICIAL TITLE: “Spending Reduction Act of 2012”.
SEC. 101: REDUCE FOOD FUNDING TO PUERTO RICO AND AMERICAN SAMOA 8 MONTHS EARLY.
TITLE II- COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE
SEC. 201. DEFUND HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGES.
‘Health Insurance Exchange’ is a website designed so consumers can easily compare and buy their own health insurance.
SEC. 202. REPEAL PREVENTION AND PUBLIC HEALTH FUND.
TITLE III- FINANCIAL SERVICES
SEC. 311. REPEAL THE PART OF WALL STREET REFORM THAT BREAKS UP CRIMINAL BANKS.
SEC. 321-324. “HAMP Termination Act of 2012”
HAMP is the program designed to help homeowners renegotiate their mortgage rates with the banks.
SEC. 331. LET CONGRESS FUND THE BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was created in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform bill to be the first government agency to protect consumers from getting screwed by their banks.
- The CFPB has guaranteed funding because it gets its money from the Federal Reserve.
- Congress would gain the ability to defund the CFPB if this bill were law.
TITLE IV—COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
SEC. 402. 3 YEAR TIME LIMIT ON MEDICAL INJURY LAWSUITS.
- “In no event” can a health care lawsuit begin 3 years after the date the patient gets injured or 1 year after the patient discovers the injury, whichever occurs first, unless
- Lawsuits by a child under 6 years old must begin within 3 years of the injury or before the child’s 8th birthday, whichever is a longer period.
SEC. 403. $250,000 CAP ON NON-ECONOMIC DAMAGES IN HEALTH CARE LAWSUITS.
“The jury shall not be informed about the maximum award for noneconomic damages.”
SEC. 405. $250,000 CAP ON PUNITIVE DAMAGES IN HEALTH CARE LAWSUITS.
- A patient who has been told that they may not seek punitive damages can only be heard in court if they first prove that they will win their case.
- MAXIMUM AWARD: $250,000 or as much as two times the amount of economic damages awarded, whichever is greater.
- Protects health care/drug manufacturers, distributors, and suppliers from paying punitive damages.
“The jury shall not be informed of this limitation.”
SEC. 409. ALLOW STATES TO FURTHER PROTECT HEALTH CARE COMPANIES FROM LAWSUITS
This bill can not over-ride “any State or Federal law that imposes greater procedural or substantive protections for health care providers and health care organizations from liability, loss, or damages.”
TITLE VI—COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS
SEC. 621. PROVIDE LESS MONEY TO STATES FOR SOCIAL SERVICES.
TITLE VII—SEQUESTER REPLACEMENT
SEC. 706. DELETE ALL DEFENSE CUTS FROM THE BUDGET CONTROL ACT