The fiscal cliff deal on taxes

According to this report, a deal has been reached that will avoid sending the nation over the fiscal cliff. Or at least negotiators have reached broad agreement on taxes. The main points:

— Current tax rates would be permanently extended for singles making $400,000 or below, and permanently extended for couples making $450,000 or below

— For singles, capital gains and dividends of $400,000 or below would be permanently taxed at 15 percent; capital gains and dividends above $400,000 would be permanently taxed at 20 percent

— For couples, capital gains and dividends of $450,000 or below would be permanently taxed at 15 percent; capital gains and dividends above $450,000 would be taxed at 20 percent

— The Alternative Minimum Tax would be permanently patched

— Estates over $5 million would be taxed at 40 percent, and that tax rate would be permanently extended

What will the worthies do about spending? My bet is they punt, as neither party is at all serious about real cuts in federal spending (and yes Virginia, that means defense outlays, too)

One thing is certain: this part of the deal sticks a thumb in Grover Norquist’s eye.

And whether any of it can pass both Houses of Congress before the witching hour is anyone’s guess.