Dartbeat Asks: The "Fiscal Cliff"

By Madison Pauly, The Dartmouth Staff | 1/15/13 5:00am

Editor’s Note: This week’s Dartbeat Asks considers the McConnell-Biden plan — the recently passed “fiscal cliff” legislation. Highlights of the plan include a permanent income tax rate increase on income above $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, extends 2009 stimulus tax cuts for five years, increases the estate tax from 35 percent to 40 percent on estates over $5 million and permanently increases dividends and capital gains rates from 15 percent to 20 percent for individuals with income over $400,000 and couples over $450,000. A debt ceiling and further deficit reduction were not included in the plan.

—Jacqueline Calloway ’14

I think they need to cut more spending rather than raise taxes. That’s the short of it. —Matt Peterson ’13

I definitely think that the fact that it has taken so long to come to any deal and the continued inability for Congress to compromise has overall been pretty negative. It’s been a drag on the economy because business leaders haven’t been able to have confidence in what the tax system is going to be and what sort of fiscal spending we’re going to have. I’m kind of disappointed with Congress that they can’t come together and make a plan that would be a compromise and would boost the economy just by reducing uncertainty. —Nick Payne ’13

One thing I know is they’re spending way too much money on defense. —Luke Lee ’12

I don’t consider [the deal] sufficient to solve the problem or even a sufficient first step to tackle the issue. I’m not quite familiar with the numbers but it seems like a good approach. We need more cuts and more tax increases in order to have a significant impact. —Ellen Meyer ’15

Right now I don’t have a big opinion on it. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel. —Katelyn Burgess ’13

How are taxes going to change?: The New York Times
Where can I read the actual bill?: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012
How did my representative vote?: New York Times Politics
What’s next for the federal budget?: Jeanne Sahadi, CNN Money
What does the fiscal cliff have to do with cows?: Alan Bjerga, Bloomberg

Madison Pauly, The Dartmouth Staff