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Wednesday, 02 January 2013 14:24

Congresswoman Miller weighs in on "fiscal cliff" issue

WASHINGTON (AP) - There's no word on when President Barack Obama will sign the bill that staves off the "fiscal cliff" of across-the-board tax increases and cuts in domestic programs. After Congress passed the bill last night, Obama left for Hawaii to complete his holiday break. Obama can sign the bill remotely using a machine called an "autopen," or the bill can be flown to Hawaii for his signature. 10th Congressional District Congresswoman Candice Miller says, "While this deal was not perfect, it was certainly better than the alternative which would have been a more than $500 billion tax increase on our economy in 2013 alone. Doing nothing would have thrown our economy back into recession, eliminated countless jobs, and caused untold pain for American families. This bill also provides permanent relief for tens of millions of American taxpayers from the Alternative Minimum Tax, and provides relief and rate certainty for millions of American seniors who depend on dividends and capital gains income to help them enjoy a secure retirement. This bill also made a much needed change to physician reimbursement rates under Medicare to make certain that seniors would still be able to see the doctor of their choice. If this fix had not been enacted then many doctors may have stopped taking Medicare patients.

"Additionally, permanent relief on the Death Tax was enacted. This tax was slated to rise to 55% on every estate above $1 million and this bill puts in place a 40% rate on estates above $5 million which will protect millions of family farms and small businesses from being forced to sell simply to pay an outrageous tax bill.

Miller was glad the agreement approved a 1-year extension of the Farm Bill. She noted that maintaining a safe, secure and abundant food supply is vital for our nation. The extension allows farmers to plan properly for the coming growing season. Miller says the failure to act on the Farm Bill would have caused prices to skyrocket for necessities like milk.

Meanwhile, don't look for a bigger paycheck despite the "fiscal cliff" deal. The bill passed by Congress does not include extending a Social Security payroll tax cut past the end of last year, so workers will now be paying about two percent more in Social Security taxes.