The US have been struggling to broker a tax and spending deal which Democrats and Republicans can agree on. The deadline for the so called fiscal cliff, one of many in the US over the years, passed with many Americans being pushed over the edge. As the midnight New Year's Eve deadline passed no agreement was reached. Perhaps it was rather that an agreement was on the way but not fully agreed and able to be signed into law.
What politicians thought Americans and the World would make of this last minute wrangling is unclear. For sure it did not make any of them look more appealing. Many Americans began 2013 with negativity and uncertainty hanging over their heads. The tax hikes kicked in as soon as the deadline was passed, although now that a deal is agreed that will be rescinded.
After the Senate passed the deal on Tuesday it was a wait and see period of time until the House of Representatives had their say. The vote came late Tuesday and the deal was passed albeit with a lesser majority than in the Senate. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives by 257 votes to 167.
The BBC reported,
The bill was "just one step in the broader effort to strengthen the economy" said President Obama
The Bill, although widely accepted as the best deal possible, is bound to have its attackers. Such is politics. You can never please all of the voters. Both sides have compromised. In the end although Republicans maintained that their efforts had the best interest of the US economy at heart they began to look simply churlish, intent on protecting the more wealthy of society.
Spending cuts will have to be implemented somewhere along the line. Just where the "axe" will fall will take more heated debate. Getting it wrong could lead to a dip in incomes for those who can least afford to take a hit but it could also jeopardise the US economy and ultimately other countries around the world that trade with America.
That said it is estimated that the USA has $17trillion worth of debt. That means that sooner or later something will have to give. Today's Bill only offers respite for the next two months and then that dreaded fiscal cliff will be approached once more.