Flashpoints in 'fiscal cliff' negotiations - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flashpoints in 'fiscal cliff' negotiations

Posted: Updated:
  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Formal VSU traffic safety study could begin soon

    Formal VSU traffic safety study could begin soon

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:20 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:20:15 GMT
    We now have a slightly better idea of when a formal study of the traffic around Valdosta State University's campus could begin. At a meeting Wednesday morning, the Valdosta Lowndes County MetropolitanMore >>
    We now have a slightly better idea of when a formal study of the traffic around Valdosta State University's campus could begin. At a meeting Wednesday morning, the Valdosta Lowndes County Metropolitan Planning Organization discussed the study, among other things.More >>
  • Man arrested for stealing tip jar

    Man arrested for stealing tip jar

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:34 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:34:32 GMT
    Timothy Banthongsack was arrested in the below case last night. From: Whitley-Banks, Phyllis Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 4:09 AM To: Whitley-Banks, Phyllis Subject:   22-14-008228  RobberyMore >>
    Timothy Banthongsack was arrested Tuesday evening for snatching the tip jar at Carrol's Meats on Philema Road.
    More >>
  • What you need to know before riding an ATV

    What you need to know before riding an ATV

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:50:06 GMT
    A safety warning following four ATV deaths in Georgia this week.      A man died in Liberty County when his 4 wheeler crashed into a tree.  A woman and her two young grandsons died in Walker County whenMore >>
    A safety warning was issued following four ATV deaths in Georgia this week.   Experts say you should not operate ATV's on public roads. You should wear proper gear such as gloves, goggles,  and most importantly a Department of Transportation helmet.More >>
By The Associated Press

There are numerous hurdles, big and small, in front of President Barack Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill as they seek a budget and tax agreement to avoid economy-rattling tax increases and automatic spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff." They include:

-Taxes. Obama insists on increasing taxes on upper-income earners and he's proposed raising the rates paid on family income over $250,000, with a boost in the top rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. GOP leaders vow to block any increase

se in tax rates but say they could support revenue increases as part of a tax reform plan that curbs tax breaks and uses the resulting revenue to both lower rates and defray the deficit. That approach, however, is opposed by many tea party GOP conservatives who have signed a pledge to oppose any tax increase.

-Entitlements. Big benefit programs like Medicare, Social Security and the Medicaid health program for the poor - called entitlements because participation is based on eligibility criteria - are major flash points. As a condition of voting for higher revenues, Republicans are demanding fundamental entitlement reforms such as increasing the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67, making wealthier seniors pay more for Medicare, and a less generous inflation adjustment for Social Security. Those ideas were discussed in negotiations in the summer of 2011 but Democrats seem to be signaling a harder line now.

-War spending. Obama and Capitol Hill Democrats want to claim $1 trillion or so in savings from the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as budget cuts. Many Republicans see the attempt as a gimmick since the savings are occurring anyway.

-Defense budget. Some Democrats want further cuts to the Pentagon on top of a 10-year $487 billion cut taken as part of last summer's budget and debt pact. Obama, however, has not proposed further cuts and GOP budget hawks swear they would hold the line against any further attempt to squeeze the military budget.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Powered by WorldNow