After negotiations that kept America waiting, the House finally passed a bill to avoid the fiscal cliff, keeping widespread tax increases and deep spending cuts at bay.
According to CNN, many agreements were made including to keep income tax cuts for individuals who earn less that $400,000 per year and couples who earn less than $450,000 per year. Taxes will be raised for those who make more.
Although the House agreed to keep income tax cuts, Americans are still likely to see less of their paychecks because of a different argument that came to a conclusion Tuesday night, according to CNN.
In 2011, the government lowered the individual payroll tax from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent to help stimulate the economy, according to CNN. That adjustment ended Monday.
Now, Americans earning $30,000 a year will take home $50 less per month. Those earning $113,700 will lose $189.50 a month, CNN reported.
According to NBC17, North Carolina’s Congressional members were split on the fiscal cliff legislation that passed Tuesday night. The members who voted against H.R. 8, which is the name given to the plan that was passed, were Renee Ellmers, Republican, second District, Walter Jones Jr., Republican, third District, Virginia Foxx, Republican, fifth District, Mike McIntyre, Democrat, seventh District, Sue Myrick, Republican, ninth District, Patrick McHenry, Republican, tenth District and Brad Miller, Democrat, thirteenth District.
The members who voted for H.R. 8 were G.K. Butterfield Jr., Democrat, first District, David Price, Democrat, fourth District, Howard Coble, Republican, sixth District, Larry Kissell, Democrat, eighth District, Heath Shuler, Democrat, eleventh District and Mel Watt, Democrat, twelfth District.
Congressman-elect Richard Hudson, who takes over in the eighth District and will represent Richmond County, released a statement Wednesday expressing his disappointment with the House:
“I am deeply disappointed in the measure that passed the House last night. I was hopeful that Congress could find a true solution to get our fiscal house in order, but instead, they continue to kick the can down the road. The rhetoric we hear in Washington about the need to cut spending has again proven hollow and meaningless.
“This package implements the largest tax hike in 20 years in return for spending increases. Washington does not have a revenue problem — it has a spending problem. We cannot continue to run annual deficits of over a trillion dollars while employing a suicidal monetary policy of printing money to buy our own debt. Washington’s spend-more solution to our impending fiscal crises is reckless and irresponsible. We cannot let it continue.
“Last night’s punt is a moral and economic travesty. The ‘fiscal cliff’ of 2012 is nothing compared to the damage we are doing to future generations of Americans who will be crushed by debt, paying the interest on our destructive spending policies because politicians today won’t stand up and say enough is enough.
“The people of North Carolina’s 8th District put their trust in me to tackle serious issue like job creation and deficit reduction. Tomorrow, when I assume office, I plan to begin to advance a balanced budget amendment and collaborate with my colleagues on proposals that will put America on a path of economic prosperity through spending restraint,” Hudson said.
Other political activists were outraged at the decision to raise payroll taxes as well, including one of the nation’s largest Tea Party groups.
“This is war. Congress is going to learn that the Tea Party has not lost its bite,” said Todd Cefaratti, founder of TheTeaParty.Net.
“The only thing worse than ‘taxation without representation’ is ‘taxation with ineffective representation.’ We invite citizens to join us in reclaiming Congress,” said former Congressman J.D. Hayworth and National Advisor to TheTeaParty.Net.
According to CNN, although this plan provides much needed security for the American people, it is only a temporary solution and does not mention the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling that the United States reached Monday.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.