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
Tuesday, September 30, 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
Oman University project panel reviews progress
Muna inaugurates Tawasul Centre for speech therapy
Meetings focus on improving defence ties with UK
Permanent Corner opens
Shinas hosts products expo
CSR summit focuses on boosting SMEs
Oman Air gets new country manager
Ithraa takes part in WEF special meet in Turkey
Other Top Stories
HK protesters defy Beijing, stay put
Al Qaeda attacks rebels in Yemen
Modi announces lifelong visas for PIOs
Nato’s Balkan expansion ‘a provocation’
Ghani sworn in as Afghanistan’s new president
India
Country looks for change, Modi tells CEOs in US
Chinese army incursions unacceptable, says Rijiju
Panneerselvam sworn in as TN CM; Jaya seeks bail
Jaitley moved to isolation ward
Government to launch health insurance scheme
Government officials told to join ‘Clean India’ campaign
PM vows to fulfil diaspora dreams
Modi’s words inspirational, visionary: Lawmakers
Modi, Israel PM pledge to promote ties
Prime minister shows sartorial elegance in US
Modi gets insight into US politics
Pakistan
Thousands of supporters attend PTI rally in Lahore
Rangers arrest 1,500 criminals in Karachi raid
Case filed against Sharif over killing of activists
Bilawal apologises to party workers for making mistakes
Five militants killed, four hurt in Tirah explosion
Floods turn boon for Sindh forests
Middle East
Libya rivals hold UN-brokered talks for reconciliation
Thousands throng Makkah for Haj
Rebel group members go on trial in Belgium over IS recruitment
US looks for ways to block IS fund flow
Asia
‘Umbrella Revolutionaries’ stay put
Dhaka arrests Briton over recruitment of IS militants
2 Chinese teens get death for murdering pro-Beijing imam
2 dead in decompression chamber at Japanese spa
Japan wary of possible Mt Fuji eruption
Business
Egypt plans $14.5b investments in oil, petrochem sectors
Dollar strengthens to 6-year high against yen
Doha Bank to acquire HSBC Oman’s India assets
CBO Board gives nod for appointing Sharia members
Pharma firms join global hunt for copycat drugs
Indian rupee dips to 7-month low against dollar
India scraps 9 SEZs over delay
GM begins vehicle exports from India plant
Strides Arcolab to buy Shasun Pharma
India textiles sector to get boost as exports seen rising 10% this year
Singareni to open biggest mine
Airlines fly slower to reduce fuel costs
Yahoo-AOL merger to boost growth
EU consumer confidence dips to 99.9 points in Sept.
‘No plans’ to ramp up Pimco
Europe
Osborne freezes welfare payments to balance books
Spain rolls out legal roadblock to stop Catalonia referendum
9 troops, 4 civilians killed in Ukraine despite truce
Blow to Hollande as right wins Senate, FN gets seats for first time
Karadzic kingpin of ‘Bosnia crimes’
Turkey suffers ‘rights rollback’ under Erdogan
Sports
Cagliari bring Inter coach to his knees
Valencia back in second spot with Sociedad draw
Afridi wants dignified exits for seniors
Marseille maintain winning momentum
Exiled Shakhtar dream of going home
PSG without Ibra for tie against Barcelona
Almouj clinch Chrysler Cup
Oman Sail’s new inititiave
‘Super Dan’ takes gold in epic Asian final
Sania-Saketh duo triumphs in tennis
‘Heads’ bring Kuwaiti cricketers win
Asians wary of African-born imports’ reign on tracks
Serena fights back to tame Soler-Espinosa
Americas
Republicans on track to win back Senate in mid-term vote
Fumbling agents get support of White House
Gunmen open fire at Miami club party, 15 injured
Mom of American who beheaded colleague apologises
58 students missing after Mexico protest crackdown
Canadian psycho admits to killing
More Americans now prefer to live alone

Sports


International

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