Debt Limit Increases, but Lawmakers Still Fighting Over Plans for Tax Hikes

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President Obama ends the drama over the debt limit by signing into law an increase that should allow the government to finance its debt through 2012, but posturing continues as Democrats insist that lawmakers endorse new tax revenues before the end of the year. A 12-member special committee created under the debt limit bill (S. 365) is required to find ways to cut an additional $1.5 trillion from the nation's budget deficit by the end of November, and Democrats say at least some of that money needs to come from the revenue side through provisions to close tax “loopholes” or explicitly raise tax rates on high-income households. Meanwhile, Obama reiterates his call for additional tax breaks for middle-class households, saying the payroll tax credit created for 2011 should be extended through 2012.