Fiscal cliff deal seems near
President Obama and Speaker John Boehner are making compromises. Will common sense prevail over politics?
Both President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner have compromised in recent days in effort to avoid sending the economy into a new recession. Obama is willing to accept tax increases on households earning $400,000 or more, well above the $250,000 level that was a focal point of his campaign for reelection. Boehner, for his part, has accepted the idea that taxes will have to be raised on the wealthiest Americans. The fact that both sides are willing to compromise is good news, experts say.
"If I were making a bet, I would say that they would have a deal before the end of the week and certainly before the end of the year," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research, in an interview.
Baker's sentiments were echoed by Greg Daco, a senior economist at IHS Global Insight, who wasn't willing to predict an imminent deal but was positive nonetheless. "I feel better than I did last week in terms of a deal getting reached," he said.
One sure sign of the progress in the talks between Obama and Boehner is the grief both leaders are getting from their respective political bases. Former Clinton labor secretary Robert Reich became the latest political progressive to fret over the "obsession" in Washington over budget deficits at a time when millions of Americans remain unemployed.
"In the foreseeable future our government has to spend more rather than less," he wrote on his blog. "Businesses won't hire because they still don’t have enough consumers to justify additional hires. So to get jobs back at the rate and scale needed, government has to be the spender of last resort."
Fiscal conservatives, such as the Alison Acosta Frazier of the Heritage Foundation, are furious with Boehner for demanding too little from Obama in terms of spending cuts and for agreeing to tax increases.
"So the two sides should reject both of these bad choices, take a breather, and pass a simple extension of all current policy -- all tax policy, all spending policy without sequestration cuts -- until the end of March," Fraser writes on Heritage's website, adding that March is when the current legislation funding the government expires.
Meanwhile, Boehner is pushing what he calls "Plan B," a bill that would raise taxes only on on those earning income above $1 million while leaving in place across-the-board spending cuts that both parties want to avoid. The White House, not surprisingly, is opposed to this idea.
Rhetorical bluster aside, the fact that both sides are wiling to compromise indicates they are taking the task ahead seriously. The sad part is the fact that people are making a big deal of the fact that Democrats and Republicans are coming together for the common good.
After all, isn't that what they were elected to do?
--Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter @jdberr.
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Boner's compromise was already shredded. What a moron. Selective tax increases for this group and others for that. What's the matter with the voters in Ohio? This guy sounds like he drinks himself into a stupor nightly then gets handed some cock and bull proposal worked up by that Nazi- Eric Cantor. He works directly for the Koches and the Bushes, right? Impeach them both and let's put cooperation in where NWO has been occupying. The article is about commonsense. Sense says-- stop talking and go over the cliff, rebel, shred paper and crush buttons... it befuddles administrators who can't boil water. One Hell of a lot of cheese is about to get moved. Everyone previously victimized by these crooks has known shift and dealt with it. I suspect the buffoons who ruined America can't, and we are in for some genuine entertainment just before we tar and feather the lot of them.
Not all stupid people are GOP, but all GOP are mighty stupid people.
there is no way that they can pass anything through both houses and get it signed by the president before the 1st.
all of this is just bull to keep the markets from tanking.
Any spending cuts yet?
NO SOUP FOR YOU! NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A solution to our FISCAL PROBLEM is SIMPLE (but not easy to get congress to enact):
28th constitutional amendment: Yearly Balanced Budget Required
Debt to GDP ratio
>35% = balanced
<35% = allow 10% extra yearly spending
It's a mistake. Begin on January 3, 2013, to walk back to an agreement. Crap will come from working anything out while there is time to spare.
The sharpest concentration of the mind will NOT be available to all parties until the first 10 days of the new year. The outcome will still be crap, but it will be the absolutely best crap possible. And isn't that what we all deserve?
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