Monday, November 19, 2012

No Cliffhanger

A pundit, politically touting,
The conventional wisdom was flouting,
When he roundly dismissed
The Fiscal Abyss
As "Over, except for the shouting."

The Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal declares that today's stock market is in the throes of a "Morning Money Ben rally." That's because Politico's Ben White has made the gutsy call that the fiscal cliff is already over. Swimming against the current of mainstream media coverage of this supposed January 1 cliffhanger, Mr. White points out the essential difference between the political situation today and that which prevailed during the Debt Ceiling debacle:
Nearly every signal from Republicans suggests they understand they have lost the war over taxes going up on the wealthiest Americans and are just trying to figure out how to get the least objectionable deal that includes real spending cuts and a trigger for tax and entitlement reform. It’s clear from polling that the GOP will get the blame if taxes go up on everyone on Jan. 1 and any subsequent damage to the economy and markets will fall squarely at the party’s feet. Republicans are no longer ignoring such polls.
In a somber counterpoint to Mr. White's analysis, Mr. Weisenthal reminds us that the greater political difficulty for President Obama this time may lie on his own Democratic side, in getting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi to play ball in the field of Social Security and Medicare cutbacks.

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