“Fiscal cliff” discussions continue to dominate the public airwaves as the White House continues to negotiate with House Speaker Boehner (R-OH) on a possible deal. The word on the street today is that the Speaker has asked the White House for more details about its position on taxes, and the President’s team has asked the House GOP for more details about its desires on spending. This is a good sign with only three weeks to go before the Bush tax rates expire and the sequester takes effect. It is sounding more and more likely that the republicans will agree to allow tax rates to go up; the only real question is by how much and for whom. And they will certainly require any rate increase to come with serious cuts to discretionary spending and entitlement programs. Two years of fighting over how to rein in federal spending and lower national debt is now coming down to a few final weeks of deal-making. Regardless of the outcome, many of these budget-related issues will likely spill over into the next Congress.
December 11, 2012