The year is over and the cliff has been climbed without falling over the edge. Income taxes of those single persons who make $400,000 a year or couples who make $450,000 a year will be increased somewhat. Others will stay like they are.
Whether that is good or bad remains to be seen. Of course, middle-income families will continue to get the Bush tax cuts and many of those are small business owners who hire people and can help keep the economy healthy.
The so-called "ultra rich" above those income levels who also help the economy a lot will pay higher taxes and that is expected to reduce the health of the economy.
At any rate, our democratic processes allowed the outcome and it remains to be seen how much the economy will be affected. One benefit is that if the effect is detrimental to the economy, those democratic processes will be able to redo the income tax road map.
Now that the main sticking point has been settled, Republicans in Congress are expected to demand that government expenditures be reduced. If the Democrats refuse, as expected, there may be a reshuffling of the deck on the income tax increases.
It remains to be seen how the final deal will work out. If the tax cuts agreed to at this point are allowed to remain and a significant amount of federal expenses are eliminated, the nation may remain healthy. But if expense cuts are not made, it will not be.
So the solution is to reduce the cost of federal government by making those cuts. Some of the excesses that would be cut could be filled in by getting states and municipalities to provide more governmental necessities in the country.
The United States has become a very big bureaucracy that is very expensive to handle. With the states and municipal governments handling more of it, economies could result by cutting out some of the expenses not needed by some states.
It makes sense to fit the services to the needs of the people. And we’re sure the 50 states can find savings in their provinces that the federal government can’t.
The answer to the overall problem could be a slight increase in taxes and a cut in expenses by eliminating unnecessary federal expenses and letting states and municipalities pay for some of their own governmental needs without the overwhelming expenses of a national bureaucracy.