Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Fiscal Cliff is a Joke

The first point I want to make about the Fiscal Cliff is that Obama has all the cards and he will win. If he does not get what he wants it will be a surprise. Washington (CNN) -- Sometime in the next 10 days, a fiscal cliff agreement is likely. It almost certainly won't be the grand bargain sought by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner that addresses the nation's chronic federal deficits and debt. It may not happen before January 1, the trigger date for the automatic tax increases on everyone and deep spending cuts of the fiscal cliff. When it does occur, a deal will likely be similar to proposals rejected by Republicans during similar brinksmanship efforts of the past two years. Will we go over the fiscal cliff? GOP Rep.: I want fiscal cliff averted Averting the fiscal cliff "It's all about scoring political points," GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen complained Wednesday on CNN, referring to both sides in the debate. "I know the American people are tired of all of us." Obama is heading back to Washington on Wednesday night from his Hawaiian vacation, leaving behind the first family to be ready if the Senate comes up with a plan when it returns Thursday from its own Christmas break. Fiscal cliff bill could come down to wire House leaders say they are poised to call back members in coming days if a deal materializes. The main dispute continues to be over taxes, specifically the demand by Obama and Democrats to extend most of the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush while allowing higher rates of the 1990s to return on top income brackets. Obama campaigned for reelection on keeping the current lower tax rates on family income up to $250,000, which he argues would protect 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses from rates that increase on income above that level. Republicans oppose any kind of increase in tax rates, and Boehner suffered the political indignity last week of offering a compromise -- a $1 million threshold for the higher rates to kick in -- that his colleagues refused to support because it raised taxes and had no chance of passing the Democrat-controlled Senate. Rep. Nan Hayworth, R-New York, acknowledged Wednesday that a deal will have to include some form of higher rates on top income brackets, but she said her party would fight to make it as minimal as possible.