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Saturday, January 5, 2013

RECAP; BankruptingAmerica

Hi there,

Starting today, we’re rolling out a fresh newsletter to recap the week’s top spending and fiscal news. Our email drops every Saturday, so you can wake-up to a cup of coffee and the important stories you missed during the week.
 But enough small talk, here’s the weekly recap you’ve been patiently waiting for:

 1) This week’s fiscal cliff fix resulted in a 154 page bill that raises taxes on people making over $400,000, includes zero spending cuts, and $25.3 billion in new Medicare payments to doctors. More numbers on the deal here, and for all the wonky details, read our fact-sheet.

2) Our “Talk is Cheap, Overspending is Not” campaign rolled out on New Year’s Eve to hold politicians accountable for their big promises to cut spending and tackle our debt and deficit. Our campaign features advertising at Capitol South and Union Station metro stops in Washington, D.C., and we’re encouraging folks to tweet with #TalkIsCheap about what crazy promises they’ll follow through on if Washington actually balances the budget this year.

3) “The ‘fiscal cliff’ is a massive failure of presidential leadership,” says Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson in a must-read op-ed, and deficit hawks Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are exactly right in calling this week’s deal a “missed opportunity” to tackle our out-of-control debt and deficit.

4) What other taxpayer-funded freebies are in the fiscal cliff deal? Well, there’s $430 million in tax breaks for Hollywood studios, $15 million-a-year in handouts to asparagus farmers, and $4 million in tax write-offs to folks who buy Segways. Thanks Congress.

5) Rep. John Boehner was re-elected as House Speaker with 220 votes, and 12 Republican lawmakers not supporting him on Thursday. He pledged to reduce our $16 trillion debt, saying that "nothing is more important."

6) What’s the next big fight in Washington? Raising the debt limit in late February or early March. Speaker Boehner thinks he can win the next round, and shared supportive polling on Friday that found seventy-two percent of Americans agree an increase in the debt limit must be accompanied by bigger spending cuts and reforms.

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