President Barack Obama, vacationing in Hawaii, signed the so-called fiscal cliff bill to avert massive tax hikes on most Americans and postpone spending cuts. He ordered the legislation be signed by autopen.
A senior White House said Obama received the bill late Wednesday afternoon, and it was immediately processed and reviewed by the president.
The scaled-back package extends permanently most the Bush-era tax cuts, while allowing them to expire – and taxes to increase – on higher incomes, individuals who make $400,000 and families who make $450,000. Individuals earning more than $250,000 and couples earning more than $300,000 would still be taxed higher because some of the value of their exemptions and itemized deductions would be phased out.
Paychecks, however, would shrink for every working American as a temporary cut in the payroll tax, enacted in 2011 to boost the economy, would end.
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Obama returns to Washington on Saturday.