Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Notes

Nobody expected a second-term honeymoon, but this is like going over Niagara Falls in a barrel again for the President.

The fiscal cliff talks pick up again in the White House where they left off when the Tea Party subverted Barack Obama’s Grand Bargain with John Boehner, with the same supporting cast (McConnell, Reid and Pelosi) and not the slightest trace of any attitude change resulting from the Election.

If anything, it is Democrats who are wary about concessions by the President (who won) rather than followers of Paul Ryan (who lost).

Some, reports say, worry about “letting Obama and his senior advisers hash out a deal with Boehner on their own. They remember the steep cuts he reportedly agreed to in 2011 and the deal he struck with McConnell in December of 2010 to extend virtually all the Bush-era tax rates.”

Déjà vu is on the menu unless the President, who never has to face voters again, girds his loins for history and goes to the mat with GOP intransigence, marshaling public opinion behind him.

Eric Cantor decided to spare Gen. Petraeus when he learned of his vulnerability from the FBI. Will he be as generous to the President?

Want to bet?
  
Update: In a sideshow, Harry Reid is now picking a fight with Boehner over the timing of a deal.

The Speaker wants to wait until 2013 to get it done, but the Senate Majority Leader is eager to keep Democratic election momentum going.

“There is no more ‘let’s do it some other time.’ We’re going to do it now,” he tells a press conference. “We feel very comfortable with each other and this isn’t something we’re going to wait until the last day of December to get done.”

Of course, the last thing voters would want is to make their champions in Congress uncomfortable.

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