Bush tax cuts

Fiscal Cliff Averted: And Here Are the Next 6 Crises to Worry About

The fiscal cliff has been averted -- at least for now. But if we've managed to dodge one devastating, intentionally-created crisis, there are plenty more massive problems on deck. Here's a list of the next six ways Washington could mess things up for tens of millions of Americans.

Fiscal Cliff Averted: 6 Things You Can Stop Worrying About

After months of lead-up, America finally went over the fiscal cliff -- for about 34 hours, before a bipartisan compromise was reached. So, with an eye toward the bright side, here's are six things that you no longer need to worry about now that the fiscal cliff has been averted.

Fiscal Cliff Deal Leaves Much of the Budget Crisis Still Hanging

The fiscal cliff compromise on taxes leaves critical issues of borrowing, spending and budget cutting unaddressed, and lawmakers have given themselves only two months to settle their differences. Here's a look at what's been resolved and what they left hanging.

Details of 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal Said to Emerge

Working against a midnight deadline, negotiators for the White House and congressional Republicans in Congress narrowed their differences Monday on legislation to avert across-the-board tax increases.

8 Retirement Money Questions for 2013

As 2012 draws to a close, people in or nearing retirement face a stunning set of uncertainties about their finances and even basic health and retirement benefits. Here are 8 pressing money and issues that are bearing down on seniors.

Obama, Boehner One Step Closer on Fiscal Cliff Compromise

Just two weeks before the economy-threatening "fiscal cliff" is due to kick in, both President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner are making significant concessions to each other, backing off what had once been ironclad positions on how to avoid the huge automatic spending cuts and tax increases.

The Weirdest Things Your Taxes Pay For

Sen. Tom Coburn has released his Wastebook 2012, a look at over $18 billion in projects that are bizarre and hard to justify. Admittedly, that's just a drop in the federal budget. But ... Thoreau-based video games? Robot squirrels?! Take a peek at our gallery of weird government expenditures.

Higher Taxes in 2013? You're Already Paying Them for 2012

More than 70 tax breaks enjoyed by individuals and businesses expired at the end of 2011. If Congress doesn't extend them retroactively back to the beginning of this year, a typical middle-class family could face a $4,000 tax increase when it files its 2012 return.

Fiscal Cliff 'Cliffs Notes': How We Got to the Edge in 5 Easy Steps

Back in July 2011, President Obama and Congress set the country on autopilot toward economic Armageddon to give themselves an incentive to reach a budget deal. It didn't work. As we stare over the fiscal cliff, let's take a quick look back at the path we took to get here.

What Every American Should Know About the Capital Gains Tax

One of the most contentious issues in the debate over how the U.S. government can increase its revenues involves the capital gains tax rate -- the rate investors pay on their profits. Here's what you need to know to understand just what both sides are arguing about.

Fiscal Cliff Talks Appear to Be Stalled

Despite an intensifying pace, little progress is being reported in talks on averting automatic spending cuts and tax increases that economists fear could send the U.S. economy off a "fiscal cliff."

Fiscal Cliff Calculators: How Much More Will You Owe If We Fall Off?

As the fiscal cliff fight between President Obama and congressional Republicans grows more heated, it's starting to look as if we might fall over the cliff. But what would this mean for your 2013 budget? We've rounded up the best fiscal cliff calculators we could find to help you figure that out.

How Far Over the Fiscal Cliff Could Washington Go?

The dealmakers who warn that a year-end plunge off the "fiscal cliff" would be disastrous don't seem to be rushing to stop it. Why aren't they panicking? Because those master procrastinators know that Washington deadlines are rarely firm, and they know precisely how they can finagle more time.

Poll Shows 25% Have an Opinion About a Totally Fake Budget Plan

Polls about Americans' views on politics and the economy sometimes return results that baffle the well-informed. Public Policy Polling's latest poll helps explain why that may be: It reveals that a high percentage of people have no problem offering an opinion on topics they know nothing about.

Defense Cuts Could Be Inevitable, Says Rep. Randy Forbes

Rep. Randy Forbes, who chairs the readiness panel of the House Armed Services Committee, has a fairly blunt view on the near future of the fiscal cliff talks: "I am fully expecting to see sequestration in some form beginning in January," he told AOL Defense in an exclusive interview. Here's what he thinks that will mean for the U.S. military.

Obama, Romney to Meet at White House Thursday

President Barack Obama will host his former political rival Mitt Romney for a private lunch at the White House Thursday, their first meeting since the election. Obama promised in his victory speech earlier this month to engage with Romney following their bitter campaign and consider the Republican's ideas.

Is This Your Last Shot to Grab Investing Gains Totally Tax-Free?

When Congress passed the Bush tax cuts in 2003, they set the dividend rate and the long-term capital gains rate at just 15%. But the rate was made even lower for people in the bottom two tax brackets -- and if you qualify, you may only have a few more weeks to capitalize on that.

Did Tea Party's Top Campaign Donors Tax Themselves?

Tea Party mega-donors poured hundreds of millions into the 2012 election, and one of their key goals was to keep taxes low for the rich. Had Romney won, their investments could have paid off mightily. Here's a look at how what they donated compares with what they'd have saved under Romney.

5 Ways the Election Results May Affect Your Retirement

Whether Barack Obama or Mitt Romney wins this election, it's going to impact a host of things beyond those the political ads have been focusing on -- among them, your retirement. Here are the five biggest the next president could make your golden years more -- or less -- secure.

The Fiscal Cliff: Who Has the Most to Lose If We Fall Off

Beyond the land of presidential debates, the political arena is getting hotter. The pending economic catastrophe that is the "fiscal cliff" is drawing closer. But the broad numbers the pundits are tossing around hide some interesting truths about who'll feel the most pain if we hurtle over it.

Five Things to Look for During the Presidential Debate

Make no mistake about it: come Thursday morning, there will be a winner. If Romney wins, he will change the narrative of this election and give his flagging campaign some much-needed energy. If Obama wins, he has all but sealed up his re-election. If it is a draw, Obama wins because with so little time remaining Romney needed to do more than draw even.

Presidential Debate Preview: What They'll Say About Taxes

In Wednesday's much-hyped debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, few topics will loom larger than taxes -- a subject about which the two parties and their standard-bearers are fundamentally, philosophically divided. Here's what you're likely to hear.

Tax the Rich, Kill the Economy? Proof It Doesn't Work That Way

Mitt Romney says the key to getting America's growth back on track is cut taxes even further on the wealthy. But would cutting taxes on "job creators" actually do that? No -- at least not according to the data compiled by nonpartisan Congressional Research Service.

3 Ways to Beat the IRS in 2013 If America Falls Off the Fiscal Cliff

Tax planning is more complicated than ever now, thanks to the fiscal cliff we're hurtling toward and the tax increases it would bring. And while it's possible that Congress will steer us away from the cliff, if you're in a higher tax bracket, it's time to start doing some contingency planning.

Economy by the Numbers: Are We Better Off Than We Were in 2008?

This fall, as Americans prepare to mark their ballots, Republicans are hoping that voters' minds will be focused on one (and only one) simple question: Are you better off today than you were four years ago? Unfortunately for the GOP, the answer isn't quite as clear as they'd like.

Fiscal Cliff Ahead: The Party's Over for the Payroll Tax Holiday

When pundits talk about the fiscal cliff, they7 usually focus on the damage that'll be caused by the expiring Bush tax cuts and the across-the-board budget cuts. But what you'll probably feel first will be the end of the payroll tax holiday, which will take an instant bite out of your paycheck.

What the 'Fiscal Cliff' Will Mean for You

The economy is rumbling along, out of control. Straight ahead, the road abruptly ends, yet the horses show no signs of slowing. Next stop: the fiscal cliff! Here's how the looming crisis will affect the average American family.