Essential reading: Boehner’s budget ‘Plan B’ collapses, and more

December 21, 2012

Welcome to the top tax and accounting headlines from Reuters and other sources.

* Boehner’s budget ‘Plan B’ collapses. Janet Hook – The Wall Street Journal. House Speaker John Boehner, facing a rebellion in his party’s conservative ranks, abandoned his own plan to avert tax increases for most Americans Thursday night, throwing Washington’s high-stakes budget negotiations into disarray and bringing the prospect of tumbling over the fiscal cliff into sudden focus. Link

* Threat of tax changes rattles muni market. Kelly Nolan and Mike Cherney – The Wall Street Journal. Many muni investors are worried that budget negotiations in Washington could result in new taxes on interest they receive from municipal bonds. Link  

* Struggling homeowners may lose critical tax break in fiscal cliff talks. Amtita Jayakumar – The Washington Post. Among the tax breaks at risk in the negotiations between the White House and Congress to avert the “fiscal cliff” is a measure aimed at helping struggling homeowners. Households could soon receive an extra tax bill if Congress does not extend a five-year tax break. Link  

* A mad dash to avoid a bigger tax bite. Alexei Barrrionuevo – The New York Times. Not that anybody needs more stress during the holiday season, but sellers and their brokers and lawyers across the country have been scrambling to close deals and avoid January tax increases that will eat into their profits. Link  

* Fat Joe’s wallet may get thinner after guilty plea. Joshua Dawsey – The Wall Street Journal. Joseph Cartagena – better known as rapper “Fat Joe” – pleaded guilty in federal court in New Jersey to not filing federal tax returns on about $3.7 million in income. Link  

* Teetering on the cliff. The Wall Street Journal editorial. The White House may chortle that the GOP is in disarray, and it is, but this failure to govern also owes much to President Obama’s failure to negotiate with any degree of seriousness. If Washington now goes off the tax cliff, Obama may not enjoy the plunge as much as some of his partisans believe. Link  

* Playing taxes hold ’em. Paul Krugman – The New York Times. Speaker Boehner and members of his party couldn’t bring themselves to accept even a modest rise in taxes. And their intransigence saved President Obama from himself. Now the game is on again. Link  

* John Boehner swings and misses on ‘Plan B’ Chris Cillizza – The Washington Post. It’s hard to overestimate the significance of what happened — or, more accurately, didn’t happen — on the House floor Thursday night. Roughly 24 hours after publicly pledging that the House would pass a bill that would extend the current tax rates for all but those earning $1 million or more, Speaker John Boehner was forced to admit defeat. Link

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