Monday, December 10, 2012

Overheard at the White House Last Weekend

"Mr. Speaker, I surely desire
That the deadline will not just expire,
But I get my way if
We fall off the cliff
And rates on the rich revert higher."

In the continuing effort to reach a long-term deal to restrain Federal budget deficits and avoid the looming fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House this past weekend. At the same time, pundits on the Sunday morning talk shows pointed out the President's negotiating advantage: Although the fiscal cliff represents a package of tax hikes and spending cuts that supposedly nobody wants, the Republicans want them less then he does. That's because the reversion to the higher marginal tax rates paid by the rich during the Clinton administration, against which Congressional Republicans have attempted to hold the line, will happen automatically if no deal is reached. This dawning realization may portend a higher likelihood of both a dive over the "cliff" and a resolution more to the President's liking.

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