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Keller @ Large: Washington, DC Has Become Fantasyland

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(Photo by Gene Duncan/Disney Parks via Getty Images)

(Photo by Gene Duncan/Disney Parks via Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Jon Keller Jon Keller
Jon Keller is WBZ-TV News' Political Analyst, and his "Keller A...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Hello from Washington D.C., where I’m spending a couple of days talking with our legislators, watching Elizabeth Warren and Joe Kennedy get sworn into office, and generally soaking up the vibrant, problem-solving atmosphere of America’s largest theme park, Fantasyland, also known as our nation’s capital.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Here in Fantasyland, it’s the taxpayers who always get taken for a ride.

The senators who voted for the fiscal cliff deal were quick to pat themselves on the back for supposedly confining the tax hikes to the wealthiest Americans, but that’s not really what they did.

The payroll tax cut touted two years ago as a spur to consumer spending is now seen as bad policy, and its elimination in the Senate bill would boost the tax rates of taxpayers earning $50,000 to $75,000 a year.

You know. The rich.

You make around $50,000?

You’ll be paying a thousand more in taxes under this plan. But you can easily afford it. You’re rich.

Whatever they wind up doing to stave off the worst of the cliff’s tax hikes and spending cuts won’t even really buy time to come up with a real plan while building investor confidence. As soon as we finish up this mess, we’ll be locked in the runup to the next cliff, the debt-ceiling showdown in late February.

There, the argument will be over spending, which neither party has shown they can control.

What the deal they threw together this weekend did was to merely “perpetuate the myth that we can fix this through easy choices,” says a spokeswoman for the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

Meanwhile, two of the five Republicans who voted against the Senate plan are potential presidential candidates. One of the three Democrats is the incoming chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

It seems compromise, however imperfect, isn’t seen by some as good politics.

Fantasyland! And I didn’t have to fly all the way to Orlando!

Next time, I’m bringing the kids.

You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.

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