Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

It's beginning to look a lot like Cliffmas
Evvvv'rywhere you go.
They're intractable on the Hill,
The President's stronger still,
He's setting his toboggan in the snoooww...

It's beginning to look a lot like Cliffmas;
Soon the bells will chime,
And the posturing will be worst
On January First,
When we're ouuut o-o-of tiiime.

The President and his Republican Congressional opposition continue to sing from different hymnals on the major issues of taxation, while trying to reach a long-term deficit reduction deal that will avoid the "Fiscal Cliff." On a related note (see what I did there?), Matt Miller hypothesizes an Endless Cliff in the Washington Post:
It seems almost certain that any new deal that is struck, either before January 1 or some time afterwards, will involve some minor near-term “action” or “down payment” combined with the creation of a new fiscal cliff of unpleasant consequences to be triggered sometime in 2013 if a broader deal on tax and entitlement reform is not reached.

This, because a divided Washington needs “a forcing device” to instigate action.

But what will have changed later in 2013 to produce a different outcome? Arguably nothing. And so we have the prospect of another deal with illusory progress later in 2013, along with the creation of the next forcing device. Which eventually forces the next sham deal and the creation of the next forcing device.
It's beginning to look a lot like only a major political disruption - such as Congressional district un-gerrymandering, a Democratic sweep of the next midterm elections, or the complete removal of money from politics - could stand in the way the Endless Cliff Hypothesis becoming reality.

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