If anybody can come up with anything other than a political argument for the deal on the “fiscal cliff”, summarized in a table here, I’d certainly like to hear it.
If you’re tempted to present a social argument, note that not only has the payroll tax been restored, because of the ObamaCare surtax it’s actually increasing. This deal is redistributionist, all right. It’s redistributionist from the lowest 90% of income earners to the top 10% of income earners and redistributionist from the top 1% of income earners to the top 10% of income earners.
One waggish summary I’ve heard of the deal is that President Obama opened with a proposal for $1.6 trillion in additional taxes, Speaker Boehner responded with $800 billion in additional taxes, and they agreed on $600 billion in additional taxes. With the $600 billion in additional taxes over ten years and $600 billion in additional spending over ten yearrs, there’s certainly no fiscal benefit and practically no benefit as stimulus.