Economy & Budget

Fiscal cliff update Nov. 29

Fiscal cliff update Nov. 29

Editor’s note: This post has been updated.

33 days to Jan. 1, 2013, and as the fair share rhetoric continues to fly, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson are discussing the necessity of compromise, but one of the big stories today — Thursday — will undoubtedly be the mysterious luncheon to be held at the White House, shared by President Barack Obama and his former Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.  Right now, reports indicate that the discussion will be directed around Romney’s suggestions for tax/entitlement reform and the best way to shepherd the country away from the precipice of economic disaster. The lunch will be closed to the press, however.

Other outlets, though, are reporting an Obama who’s extremely confident in his tax and debt plan — lest we forget, the president did parade a group of middle-class Americans Wednesday to announce a Twitter war with the GOP. It seems obvious that Obama is looking forward to, indeed relishing, his inauguration in January, and the wide-ranging liberal agenda he intends to speak about in glorious, grandiose terms.

As the certainty grows that President Obama and the Democrats’ plan — details forthcoming — will become the law of the land, has the time come for Republicans to allow this to happen, but then force all blame for any consequences on to the Democrats?  Some conservatives are asking this question, and its chorus is likely to widen.

Today, Thursday, President Obama meets with Mitt Romney for lunch at the White House — also, House Republicans are slated to watch the newly released movie, “Lincoln”, together.  Happening Thursday as well: Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner has been sent to Capitol Hill to meet with congressional leaders; expect something to come out of that meeting. Friday’s schedule is still forthcoming.

Some of the important news and analysis of the day below:

Human Events: For GOP, losing might be the only way to win
According to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 73 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents — and even 39 percent of Republicans — now favor raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more a year. Should the GOP give the people want they want? As it is, Republicans seem to be engaged in an unwinnable scrum with Barack Obama

Politico: Inside the talks: Fiscal framework emerges
Listen to top Democrats and Republicans talk on camera, and it sounds like they could not be further apart on a year-end tax-and-spending deal – a down payment on a $4 trillion grand bargain. But behind the scenes, top officials who have been involved in the talks for many months say the contours of a deal – including the size of tax hikes and spending cuts it will likely contain — are starting to take shape.

Acton Commentary: Living in the Shadow of the Fiscal Cliff
The idea that returning deficit spending to 2008 levels represents a “cliff” is not just political hyperbole. It reveals something deeply broken about not only our political system, but even more of our cultural expectations. As long as we continue to expect politicians to deliver programs and policies that are not sustainable, they will continue to promise them, and what is perhaps even worse, they will continue to try to make good on them, no matter the cost to current and future generations.

Washington Post: ‘Fiscal cliff’ talks bogged down by dispute over cost of retirement programs
Negotiations to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff” advanced at a glacial pace Wednesday, with a dispute over how to tackle the soaring cost of federal retirement programs emerging as the latest roadblock to progress.  Democrats complained that Republicans have yet to name their price for enacting legislation that would preserve tax cuts for the vast majority of Americans next year while raising revenue from the wealthiest 2 percent.

Bowles, Simpson Might Get Left Behind in Cliff Talks
Congressional leaders opened their doors Wednesday to former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Sen. Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo., who were touting the debt reduction plan that bears their names as Capitol Hill gets closer and closer to the fiscal cliff.  But their efforts will be immediately overshadowed Thursday as high-level Obama administration officials meet with the top four congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.

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