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Senate ‘Almost There’ but Hold On: House Has “no Plans” for Vote Tonight

Posted on: December 31st, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     It's not clear where this is coming from. Is it gamesmanship? The GOP is in a pique of hurt feelings based on some early afternoon bluster by the President. They are claiming that Obama's statement that the sequester cuts will not be done only with spending cuts-but more revenue-they are now suggesting may be a deal killer.     "With hours remaining to avert the so-called fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama said a deal is “within sight” and urged lawmakers to come together to avert automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that kick in on Tuesday."      "But his midday press conference, with a group of middle-class Americans looking on, was not without a bit of bravado as well. Obama took multiple shots at Congress for its clumsiness in negotiations and insisted that he'd demand more tax hikes if the legislative body used the impending debt ceiling standoff to demand spending cuts."       "In...

Apparent Breaththrough on Fiscal Curb

Posted on: December 31st, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

</body>      This is what the Poltico headlines are screaming right now. Talking Points Memo says "McConnell: We Have a Deal...  Almost."      HuffingtonPost declares 'Close.'       From Politico:      "With the clock ticking toward the midnight fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama said Monday that a deal to avert tax hikes and spending cuts in the new year “is within sight, but it’s not done.” “There are still issues to resolve, but we’re hopeful that Congress can get it done,” Obama said.      "As Obama spoke, Congress was closing on a $600 billion deal that would raise taxes on households that...

GOP Senate Source: There Will Be a Deal

Posted on: December 31st, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     True, right now in liberal-land, there's consternation that the deal will be horrible. As I've suggested, if we get what's currently being advertised-$400,000 floor on higher taxes($500,000 for married couples)-it's a pretty good deal, even if the Dems give the GOP the lower rate on inheritance taxes-provided the capital gains and dividend taxes also go up to Clinton rates.     Again, keep in mind that proviso. I don't think it's so bad compromising on the inheritance tax-though it's not my preference-if we do get tax hikes for the rich on capital gains and dividends in addition to the raise in...

A Sinking Feeling That Obama’s About to Cave

Posted on: December 31st, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     I just wrote about this: that many liberals now think he and maybe the other Dems are about to cave.      The latest on the fiscal curb     Krugman, too, speaks of a "sinking feeling" that the President is about to cave:      "Many reports in the past hour or two suggesting that Obama is about to cave on the fiscal cliff — water down his tax demands in return for some minor Republican concessions — concessions that won’t involve taking the debt ceiling off the table."       "Let’s hope this is wrong."        "Is it really possible that Obama still doesn’t understand that every time he does this — especially if it comes just a few days after stern statements about how he won’t give it — it just reinforces the Republican belief...

Good News and Bad News on the Fiscal Curb

Posted on: December 31st, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     The good news is according to the latest reports-though this keeps changing-a deal is increasingly likely.  The bad news: many liberals seem to think the Dems are selling out out of a desire to get a deal at any price.      Talking Points Memo speaks of the 'Dems' Mystifying New Fiscal Cliff Strategy.'       "A deal like this re-enforces the GOP’s skewed approach to budgeting, which basically ignores the impact tax cuts or increases have on the deficit. It indulges their desire to reduce budget negotiations back down to what and how much to cut — and to the status quo ante that new spending can’t be paid for with higher taxes."      "And it calls into question Obama’s insistence that he’ll refuse to negotiate a debt limit increase early next year. Under the GOP’s most recent...

Lazy Punditry: David Gregory Protests Too Much

Posted on: December 30th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     I see that Gregory is quite bent out of shape that some from the Obama Administration have referred to the media narrative that the fiscal curb is the fault of both the parties-'a pox on both your houses;-is just "lazy punditry."     What's that matter David? Does the shoe fit? Today he lashed out saying that 'the American people care about results' that the President needs to understand that its not just about "being right." He suggests that ultimately if we go over the cliff and to suffer from these higher tax rates-I like the rest of us could see this in a week or so, though I think there are ways they can forestall the effects short term-Americans will blame everyone in Washington, and the President will take a large share of any blame as, well, he's the President.    As for this talk about Americans caring only results not the causes, well that was the narrative that lazy journalists like Gregory and his fellow lazy journalists...

The Age Old Question: Is Inflation the Price of Civilization?

Posted on: December 30th, 2012 by Mike Sax 4 Comments

    Or is it just an unmitigated tax, particularly on the poor? I've never believed that inflation is an unmitigated evil or that it's worse for the poor at least on every level. Back when I had my radio show, I got in an on air argument with my co-host Turbo Kitty after she insisted that inflation is indeed an unmitigated tax on the poor. For more on my argument with her      I just found it found it astonishing at the time that she thought that inflation was an unmitigated evil, and that deflation would benefit the poor. Since then, I've learned that there are many who would agree with her. Our radio collaboration soon ended when she wanted to spend more time on Occupy Wall St. I don't know...

Woj on When the State of Macro Will Be Good Again

Posted on: December 29th, 2012 by Mike Sax 3 Comments

     He has a post in answer to the skirmishing over macro going on between Stephen Williamson, Krugman, et. al. I've had a few posts on it myself.     I find if anything, Glasner-as is often the case-had as penetrating analysis as anyone; Woj also indicated he feels the same about this. Ok, let's see Woj's take:     "Responding to a debate between Krugman and Steve  Williamson on the current state of macroeconomics, Noah Smith asks, Macro, what have you done for me lately? The entire post is definitely worth reading, including the updates and comments. With apologies, I have copied several paragraphs here: So if collegiality and...

The Hurdles in Getting a Fiscal Curb Deal By Monday

Posted on: December 29th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

     Amid new optimism about getting a deal, there are some hurdles, both on policy and procedural. The policy issues are about taxes:      "Taxes remain the primary sticking point. Republicans have signaled a willingness to extend the George W. Bush-era tax cuts for all income up to $400,000, while Democrats prefer the $250,000 figure that Obama campaigned on, according to sources in both parties."      "Tied into that discussion was another over the estate tax, with Republicans and some Western Democrats pushing to keep estates worth up to $5 million exempt from taxes, while Obama pushed to lower the threshold to $3.5 million."      It's hard to see why this should be...

President Stands Tall on Fiscal Curb; Starts “GOP Civil War’

Posted on: December 29th, 2012 by Mike Sax No Comments

</body>       Or so says Charles Krauthammer:       Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer believes President Barack Obama has used the fiscal cliff to start an "internal civil war" among House Republicans.      "He’s been using [the fiscal cliff talks] — and I must say with great skill, and ruthless skill and success — to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition," Krauthammer told Fox News host Sean Hannity. "The only redoubt of the opposition is the House. And his objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House, and to create an internal civil war. And he’s done that.”       "How did he do it? By always insisting from Day One after the election that Republicans had to raise rates," Krauthammer said.     ...

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