To the surprise of no one, most Republican Senators voted for the deal, which raises taxes by $620 billion and does virtually nothing to reduce federal spending:
The bill (misleadingly titled the “American Taxpayer Relief Act”) passed 89 to 8. According to Dan Spencer at Red State:
The bill raises income tax rates for those taxpayers with incomes more than $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples from 35 percent to 39.6 percent. These higher income taxpayers will also pay higher rates on investment income, with rates on dividends and capital gains rising from 15 percent to 20 percent. Add the 3.8 percent ObamaCare surcharge on investment income — another tax that takes effect in January, and the top rate on investment income would rise to 23.8 percent for those high-income households.
The bill also raises taxes on couples earning more than $250,000 a year and single people earning more than $200,000 by limiting personal exemptions and itemized deductions.
Estates taxes will also be increased, with the top rate raised to 40 percent, with the first $5 million in value exempted for individual estates and $10 million for family estates.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill later today.
Here’s Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) explaining his “Aye” vote:
I voted for this bill because it prevents a huge tax increase on 99% of all Texans and Americans. Nonetheless, I am dismayed at the lack of seriousness by the president on dealing with the core issues of our fiscal problems. Our spending is unsustainable and it is high time the president and his party engage in meaningful dialogue to get this county’s spending under control.
Conservative tweeters were dismayed, too:
Other Senate Republicans who supported the bill came under fire, too.
Only five Republican Senators (Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Richard Shelby, Marco Rubio, and Charles Grassley) voted no.