Evan Soltas
Nov 29, 2012

Breaking Down the Cliff, 1

I'm doing a series for Bloomberg View on the "fiscal cliff," taking it apart into its constituent changes in public policy and examining independently their fiscal, economic, distributional, political, and social impact. First, the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003:

The "fiscal cliff" was born more than a decade ago. President George W. Bush's first package of tax cuts in 2001 came with a sunset clause of 10 years. Follow-up legislation passed in 2003 was also scheduled to expire at the same time.

On Jan. 1, 2011, tax rates on income, capital gains, dividends and estates were to revert to those under President Bill Clinton. But in 2010, President Barack Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for two more years, pushing their expiration date to Jan. 1, 2013...

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