Omantribune
Oman Tribune
Omantribune
Omantribune Search News
Web Oman
    Google Search Button
      Tribune
- Oman
- Soccer World Cup
- Other Top Stories
- Middle East
- Business
- Sports
- India
- Pakistan
- Asia
- Europe
- Americas
- Columnists
- Editorial
- Oman Mirror
- Special Features
- Cinema
- PDF Pages
- Weather
- Travel
- Currency Rate
- Hospitals
- Pharmacies
- Services
- Flight Timings
- Museum Timings
Omantribune Home Omantribune About Us Omantribune Advertising Information Omantribune Archives Omantribune Subscribe-Form Omantribune Jobs Omantribune Contact Us
Monday, September 15, 2014  

Fiscal cliffhanger continues as deadline nears
WASHINGTON Taxes were on track to rise for many Americans this week unless US lawmakers could cut a last-minute deal on Monday to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” an outcome that seemed unlikely, but still possible.

Financial markets were on edge only hours before the midnight arrival at the long-awaited “cliff,” an assortment of $600 billion in tax hikes and broad federal spending cuts on defence and domestic programmes
that has defied a political solution.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and Democratic Vice-President Joe Biden carried on “good talks” late into Sunday evening, aides said. Details of their discussions were unclear.

Any resolution in the tug-of-war over taxes and spending cuts forged in the Senate would need to win approval in the House of Representatives and the outcome in that chamber was uncertain.

“Republicans in the House do not want to raise tax rates without some significant spending cuts, and the Senate apparently has abandoned” a proposal to trim cost-of-living adjustments in the Social Security pension program, said Greg Valliere, chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group.

“So, while the Senate stumbles toward a potential compromise, there’s absolutely no assurance that it could pass later this week in the House,” he said.

Still, a serious jolt from the markets could prod Democrats and Republicans into action, even at the eleventh hour - or in this case, December 31 at 11.59 pm EST (0459 GMT).  

 “I believe investors will show their displeasure” at the lack of progress in Washington, said Mohannad Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management, an investment advisory firm in New York.

US stocks opened slightly lower on Monday, the last trading day of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 51.99 points, or 0.40 per cent, at 12,886.12.      

Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate had hoped to clear the way for swift action on Sunday. But with the two sides still at odds, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid postponed any possible votes and the Senate adjourned until Monday.  

 The main sticking point between Republicans and Democrats remained whether to extend existing tax rates for everyone, as Republicans want, or just for income below $250,000 to $400,000, as Democrats have proposed. That threshold may be rising closer to a level of $500,000 or so, analysts said.   

Also at issue were Republican demands for larger cuts in spending than those offered by President Barack Obama.  

Hopes for a “grand bargain” of deficit-reduction measures vanished weeks ago as talks stalled.  

Expiring along with low tax rates at midnight Monday are a raft of other tax measures. One is a payroll tax holiday that Americans have enjoyed for two years.  

Support for extending this seems to have faded away, in part because the tax funds Social Security. If it ends, the current 4.2 per cent payroll tax rate paid by about 160 million workers will revert to the previous 6.2 per cent rate after December 31, and will be the most immediate hit to taxpayers.  

 A “patch” for the Alternative Minimum Tax that would prevent millions of middle-class Americans from being taxed as if they were rich, could go over the cliff. Republicans and Democrats support doing another patch, but have not approved one.   At best, the Internal Revenue Service has warned that as many as 100 million taxpayers could face refund delays without an AMT fix. At worst, they could face higher taxes unless Congress comes back with a retroactive fix.  

 After Tuesday, Congress could move for retroactive relief on any or all of the tax and spending issues. But that would require compromises that Republicans and Democrats have been unwilling to make so far.  

Obama said on Sunday he plans on pushing legislation as soon as January 4 to reverse the tax hikes for all but the wealthy.   

Reuters
NEWS UPDATES
Oman
Tighter rules help Sultanate control human trafficking
Workshop discusses integration of ports
Civil Service Ministry’s auditing for quality management begins
Oman to take part in Beirut Supreme Courts’ meet
National parachuting team wins Bandung Asiania championship
Oman, Europe ‘can benefit from blue economy ties’
Three-day Omani products expo opens in Dubai
Infra Oman in Oct. to attract 200 companies
TRC agrees to adopt two research works
Other Top Stories
IS lures women from US heartland
10 Liberia officials who dodged Ebola aid efforts sacked
19 Shabaab rebels arrested in Uganda ‘planned bomb blasts’
US Somali women lured by IS fighters
Fears of separatism rise in Europe
India
Beijing to invest billions in railways as Xi, Modi to meet
Vigil in South’s key installations stepped up
Aisa sweeps JNU election, ABVP posts gains
CPM goes on defensive over Kerala RSS leader’s killing
150,000 marooned in J&K; 60,000 more evacuated
Probe team asks RBI, ED to take on forex violators
$4.16b Navy tender only for private sector, says ministry
Workers don’t want talks on seats with Sena: BJP
CIC issues notices to six parties over non-compliance of RTI Act
Withdraw notice on Hindi: TN parties
Jet pilots form technical cell on aviation issues
Don’t celebrate my birthday, says Modi
MP’s madrassa remark draws flak
Pakistan
Shot in arm for protesters as activists released
Rain misery continues, toll hits 280
Military offensive widens crack in TTP, forces many to give up arms
3 soldiers killed in N. Waziristan attack
Girl withdraws rape claims against PML-N MNA’s sons
PAT protesters’ meals cut to twice a day
Middle East
Allawi endorses Abadi, backs reconciliation bid
Iraqi refugees wear scars of trauma
Israel spy unit’s pro-Palestinian stance gets backing
Libya central bank chief dismissed for financial fraud
No end in sight to Iraq Christians’ search for safe haven
Asia
American gets 6 years hard labour in North Korea
HK civil disobedience call gets louder, activists take to streets
Three killed, 3 missing as Philippines ferry sinks
Typhoon Kalmaegi hits Philippines, forces evacuations
Zia faces graft trial, appeal rejected
Food scandal helps revive HK farming
Business
Foreign funds pose risk to emerging markets
Listings to make insurers more transparent: Moody’s
iPhone’s payment features leave Japanese customers nonplussed
Conventional banks’ sukuk to boost Islamic finance
Raysut Cement in pact to build storage facility
Oil production falls marginally
Emaar to raise $1.58b from malls unit IPO
RBI shuts 6 banks to clamp down on money laundering
India plans to fast-track security clearance to industrial projects
India GDP to grow at 5.6% this fiscal: Ficci
Non-repatriable NRI funds may get domestic investment tag
FDI into India to hit $30b this year
Swiss banks set to rework strategy as secrecy vanishes
Self-driving cars now ‘chat’ with each other
Swiss luxury watchmakers ‘unimpressed’ with blingless Apple Watch
Allianz to sell US personal insurance unit
UK banks slam proposed capital rules for lenders
Abe ‘neutral’ on sales tax hike
New system helps EU investors wade into ‘dark pools’
Europe
Scots evenly split; both camps wait with bated breath
Fresh fighting in Donetsk piles pressure on nine-day-old truce
930 French residents engaged ‘in insurgency’
Economic issues a top priority for Scots when they vote on Thursday
Social Democrats lead Swedish poll
German anti-euro party’s ‘values’ energise voters
UK dogs’ home ‘arsonist teen’ released on bail
Sports
Fleet-footed Floyd too fast for Marcos
Norman close to severing hand with chainsaw
Al Harthy-Caine closer to drivers’ crown
Atletico pile on Real’s early woes
Messi better than even a PlayStation, says Enrique
Juventus and Roma maintain winning starts in Serie A
Oman Sail teams maintain podium spots
Rossi romps to victory at home
Valentino Rossi returned to the top of the MotoGP podium with a home win at the San Marino Grand Prix
Venus to face Lucic-Baroni in Quebec WTA final
Ogier leads Volkswagen 1-2-3 finish
Prannoy clinches gold in Indonesia
16-year-old Goel aims high for India in shooting
United blow away the cobwebs

Sports


International

© 2013 Oman Tribune. All rights reserved. Best viewed in 800 X 600 resolution