Driving the Day: 11/13/12

Nov 13, 2012

Need to know…

  • Fiscal Cliff Will Hit Wealthy and Poor States Hardest. According to a new report by the Tax Foundation, states at the high and low ends of the income scale would be hit harder by the looming expiration of Bush-era rates and other tax changes than more middle-class income states. New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut–three of the top five states in 2010 median income–would be hurt the most by the tax increases. May taxpayers in those states would face a tax increase of 6.6% to 6.8% if Congress doesn’t enact a legislative fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax. West Virginia, Arkansas, and Mississippi, the only three states with a median household income below $40,000, are also among the 10 states that would be harmed the most by the tax increases.
  • Russian Trade Bill Top Priority in House Agenda. The House Rules Committee will take up a bill tonight that would pave the way for permanent normal trade relations with Russia. Without the legislation, U.S. businesses say they will lose out to competitors in Europe and China and elsewhere around the world who are eager to get a leg up in the Russian market. The House could pass the bill as early as Wednesday, leaving it up to the Senate to send it to President Obama. 
  • EU Commission Freezes Airline Emissions Rule. Following threats of international retaliation, the EU will freeze for a year its rule that all airlines must pay for their carbon emissions for flights into and out of EU airports. Flights within the EU will still have to pay for their carbon emissions. U.S. politicians welcomed the news, but wanted more because the EU’s announcement does not rule out future efforts to tax foreign carriers. Meanwhile, the House today plans to consider legislation barring U.S. airlines from paying the penalties in the EU plan to cut carbon emissions. The Senate passed the measure on September 22.

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