Who's Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?
Maybe the tea party folks were right about the corrupting influences of
The big fight of the hour is over how best to deal with the self-made crisis known as the "fiscal cliff." Or is it, as some call it, a "fiscal bluff?" Both sides know what they need to do, but, since all of the options will bring pain, each side drags its heels in a very Washington-style way before they do it.
"Fiscal cliff" is popular shorthand for the term used to describe the end of the year. That's when President
Some experts like Federal Reserve Chairman
But some other experts call it more of a slope, noting that the full negative impact wouldn't set in for days or weeks -- plenty of time for reason to set in, one hopes. Either way, some
Just think: What happens if we go over the cliff? Among more than 1,000 expected automatic cuts, those that have gotten the most attention would end the Bush tax cuts and cut deep into defense spending. Both moves would upset Republicans more than they would trouble Democrats.
These and other big bites to tax breaks and social services are more likely to be blamed on Republicans than on Democrats, judging by recent polls. A similar public reaction favored President
But the biggest headache for both men is the hard-core Republican right wing who don't seem to realize, even after they lost seats in both houses and saw Obama handily reelected, that their side is losing. Boehner seemed to send that signal when he purged four conservatives from their prime committee posts who had opposed his attempt to strike a budget deal with Obama last year.
The pragmatists can plainly see that Obama has the edge in this confrontation. They want to cut a quick deal on tax rates, conceding to Obama's demands for an end to the Bush tax cuts on upper income earners, so they can press for a bigger victory on entitlements.
The AODD crowd is standing their ground with muskets drawn and torches held high to resist any concession on tax rates, even as the clock ticks down to the cliff and an end to the Bush tax cuts on upper- and middle-income earners alike.
All of which reminds me of
I don't want to see our government go over the fiscal cliff, but that may be what it takes to show the tax-fighting zealots that most Americans aren't ready or eager to go over the brink with them.
Read the latest political news.
- Not So Merry Christmas For Congress and President
- John Boehner's 'Plan B' Gamble
- Republicans Would Rather Upgrade Afghan Infrastructure Than Our Own
- Who's Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?
- The Kingdom of Fairness
- Never Ever, Ever, Ever...
- Obama Plays His High Cards
- Let The Real Fat Cats Pay Their Fair Share
- Tea Party Down But Not Out
- GOP Voter Suppression Continues
- How the GOP Can Blow Another Election
- The GOP -- Not a Club for Christians
- 'Amnesty' Not Looking So Bad to GOP
- Republicans: You Gotta Have Hope
- Federalism Could Be Solution to GOP Branding Problem
- Politicians: No Skin in the Game
- Goodbye, Senator Joe Lieberman
- Jim DeMint: A Senate loss or gain?
- A 'Right To' Words that Work
- Liberal Obsession with Race is Growing Old
- Some Companies Resorting to Extremes to Dodge Obamacare
- The Other Cliffs
- Take Care of the Children
- U.S. May Pay More Attention to Latin America in Obama's Second Term
- Snake-Oil Deficit Savings
- The Fiscal Hoax
- Fiscal Cliff 'Grand Bargain' May Be Anything But
- Dodging the Fiscal Swindle
- Brain-lock Inside the Beltway
- Obama's Own Cliff
- 'Fiscal Cliff' Obscures Lack of Shared Sacrifice
- The Fiscal Cliff: False Fears and Horrors
- Taxpayers, Revolt!
- Republicans: The Party of No
- For Pete's Sake, What's Happened to Our Democracy?
- Let Obama be Obama
- Ascendant Hillary Clinton
- Right, Left Get Along -- Outside Washington
- If, At First, You Don't Secede...
- Republican Problems are About More than Just Packaging
- Marco Rubio: A Hispanic Reagan?
- Obama Needs a Family Plan
- An Unsightly Scrap Over Cabinet Nomination
- Throwing Rice: A GOP In-Crowd
- The Decline of Moderate Republicanism
- To Appeal to Black Voters, GOP Must Run Gauntlet of Racism Accusations
- BP is Not a Criminal
- When the Curtain Rises
- Mitt Romney's Own Gift
- The 'Land of Opportunity' is Becoming Hollywood Fiction
- Corporate Bosses Gone Berserk
- The Trojan Horse in the Debt Debate
- The Real Problem with Military Spending
- Without Unity, We'll Tumble Over the Fiscal Cliff
- The Classy Election of 2012
- Karl Rove: The Biggest Loser in Politics
- Will the Supreme Court Dismantle the Voting Rights Act?
- The Pollution of Political Discourse
Who's Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff? | Politics
(c) 2012 Tribune Media Services, Inc