Friday, December 21, 2012

This Is The End

An ancient foretelling of verity
Said the world with go out with severity,
But may really impend
The recovery's end
In Washington's leap to austerity.

The Republicans' fiscal cliff diver
Advanced a proposal that neither
The White House or Senate
Would ratify when it
Was passed, which it never was, either.

One shouldn't put too much reliance
On the art of political science,
Which tends to foretell
The future as well
As the calendar made by the Mayans.

If you are reading this, then the world did not end on December 21, 2012, as predicted by the Mayan calendar. The negotiations to avoid the "fiscal cliff", however, are another story. Earlier in the week, optimism ran high as proposals advanced by House Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama were "only" $200 billion apart in long-term revenue raising.

Seemingly at the last minute, the Speaker shifted gears and announced a "Plan B" that, although rejected in advance by the White House and the Democratic-controlled Senate, had placed enough constraints on tax hikes to garner the needed support of House Republicans. In the event, the legislation was pulled due to many many of those Republicans' resistance to even modest tax increases on the very wealthy. With legislators now heading home for the holidays, it appears that Mr. Boehner's reputation as a negotiator is preceding the federal budget over the cliff.

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