On a vote of 257 to 167 the U.S. House Of Representatives voted to pass what’s called the “Fiscal Cliff” bill called The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. But what is the bill and does it actually cause the deficit to go down or decrease spending? Here’s a summary and the full text of the 157 – page legislation.
The American Taxpayer Relief Act is a complicated bill that consists of four major tax revisions and 1002 changes and revisions in many existing programs and legislation from “Revisions to the Medicare ESRD bundled payment system” to “Extension and modification of research credit.”
But the part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act that’s getting the most attention are the permanent extension of the tax cuts that were first installed by President George W. Bush in 2001 and in 2003 and a five-year extension of the Child Tax Credit of 2009.
And while CNN claims that the bill kills spending for Hurricane Sandy disaster relief, there’s a provision in it that does allow for “supplemental” spending for agricultural disaster relief. One would think Hurricane Sandy spending could be slipped in via that part of the legislation.
In fact, in reading the bill, there’s a lot of tax-reductions and lengthening of programs, but there’s no area listing program spending cuts.
Read it for yourself.
And the Congressional Budget Office’ analysis shows that it adds to the deficit:
So with all of that news, what was the fuss about?