AMT could sock millions of new households with hefty tax

  • Article by: LORI MONTGOMERY , Washington Post
  • Updated: November 5, 2012 - 10:34 PM

If Congress doesn't act by year's end, more than 26 million more households will have to pay big tax bills, immediately.

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trythinkingNov. 5, 1210:37 PM

So anyone who gets upset about this, then goes out tomorrow and votes for the obstructionist, defeat-Obama-at-any-cost Michele Bachmann, gets what they deserve.

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choochoo12Nov. 5, 1210:54 PM

Really, trythinking? What level would tax rates have to be raised to to cover Obama's existing spending? Hint: taxes would have to rise by 80% on everyone who currently pays federal income tax. Your hero Obama has borrowed and wasted OVER $5 TRILLION in the 3 years and 9 months since taking office. His budget deficits average $1 TRILLION per year higher than Bush.

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northstars91Nov. 5, 1211:00 PM

They say this every year...

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alansonNov. 5, 1211:36 PM

Our experience is that Congress always manages to fix AMT (and other things) at the last possible moment. But consider: AMT automatically kicks in for 2012 if not fixed as described in this story. Debt ceiling increase needs approval possibly before 12/31. Social Security payroll 2% tax reduction goes away on 12/31. Bush tax cuts disappear on 12/31, raising taxes for just about everybody. Estate tax reverts to $600k exemption on 12/31. Medicare "doc fix" goes away on 12/31, reducing doctor fees by something like 27%. Budget sequestrations go into effect with big defense cuts, and cuts to various social welfare programs occur on 12/31. Failure to fix any one of these will cause large perturbations in the Federal budget. Failure to fix all of them will cause chaos in the Federal budget. In the meantime we will have a lame duck Congress many of whose members will be more interested in job hunting than grinding through a bunch of tax and spending issues. And we can't rule out the possibility of a confused series of recounts in "toss up" states like Ohio so that the identity of the next President will be in limbo for several weeks. Maybe this time our government will be unable to act just in time. Maybe the "fiscal cliff" will be realized. Congress has about 57 days to act (and that does not include provision for Thanksgiving and end of year holidays).

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erikj3Nov. 6, 1212:59 AM

If this were an impending tax hike on the 1% or Big Oil, it never would've gotten this far.

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JRBNov. 6, 12 1:39 AM

alanson's very comprehensive post dispels the popular notion that the "Bush tax cuts" primarily benefited the very wealthy. On the contrary, they benefit people in the lower tax brackets even more. If Congress should not act and we go off the fiscal cliff, the lower middle class will see their marginal tax rate go from 10% to 15%, an increase of 50%. But high income earners will see their top marginal rate go from 35% to 39.6%, an increase of just 13%. I believe the "Bush tax cuts" should be extended for everybody, including high income earners many of whom are small business owners and JOB CREATORS, which is what the economy needs most right now.

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endothermNov. 6, 12 1:56 AM

This would have been fixed MONTHS AGO if Republicans in Congress were actually willing to work together with Democrats on ANYTHING instead of just causing impossible gridlock and attempting to blame the President for a mess they caused.

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rvd420Nov. 6, 12 4:21 AM

@JRB: Extending the Bush tax to "Job Creators" will not spur hiring. As someone who owns a small business with 4 employees I can tell you what will spur job creation ... demand for goods and services. Myself just like many other businesses are not going to hire people to fabricate product just to fill a warehouse if there is not a demand for the product. Creating demand for a product first starts with the consumer having the financial means to buy the product. If the consumer is struggling to the point that they have to decide to fill the gas tank or pay a bill late they obviously do not have them means to buy the products that most businesses create.

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comment229Nov. 6, 12 4:49 AM

I am not concerned at all. Simply, that tax increase on my bill will be offset by Romney's promised 20% tax cut for everyone, so relax. It must be true; Romney said so. If Obama is elected we won't have a chance at this because McConnell will come out and say tomorrow, that "we plan to make Obama a two term president" and then do nothing. I have all the faith in the world in what these guys have said and promised, don't you? And for all you that think the healing is going to begin automatically tomorrow, no matter who wins, you can just about forget about it. Gore Vidal was right.

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jbpaperNov. 6, 12 5:08 AM

I thought the dems were for getting rid of tax loopholes, which this would do. Oh that's right, you only want to get rid of loopholes that don't effect you.

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