Patch Poll: What's the Best Way to Avoid the 'Fiscal Cliff?'
Tell us what you think is the best way for President Obama and Congress to work together to keep tax rates from rising and major spending cuts from being enacted in January.
Last year, Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to a program—now known as the "fiscal cliff"— to reduce the federal deficit.
If Congress and the president don't reach an agreement within the next few weeks, tax rates will rise in January for almost all Americans and major spending cuts will automatically occur next year in most government spending programs.
Democrats and Republicans don't agree about how to best raise the federal government's revenues. The president and most congressional Democrats favor tax rate increases on the wealthiest Americans. Most congressional Republicans call instead for closing loopholes and reforming the tax code. Both parties have indicated a willingness to implement spending cuts.
A point of disagreement between the parties is over an increase in taxes for the wealthiest Americans—whether taxes on wealthy people should be kept high so the government can use their money for programs to help lower-income people versus keeping taxes on high earners low because they invest their money in the private sector and that helps the economy.
During the first decade of the 21st century, taxes remained at their lowest consistent rate for high income earners than during any other decade during the 20th century. Click here for a chart of historical tax rates in the United States. Click here for a chart of the top marginal income, corporate and capital gains tax rates from 1916-2011.
So what do you think? Vote in our poll.