Fiscal cliff notes
President Obama and Republican congressional leaders are working harder to find a compromise that avoids the automatic budget cuts and tax increases that occur if rhetoric trumps action. Discerning progress still means ignoring all the woofing and growling by both sides.
Despite all the usual political noise, a report in the Huffington Post suggests serious talks are quietly underway out of sight. GOP leadership is starting to put numbers on its proposals, but they are still woefully shy of details. Yes, there would be new revenues, but they would come from changes in tax deductions, not tax increases. OK, which ones? Limiting the mortgage deduction to one home and capping the benefit seems doable. Tampering with the charitable tax deduction is simply wrong.
Politicians on both sides of the finger wags are likely tracking public opinion, and the GOP might be a bit unnerved by what they read. A new Washington Post-Pew Research Center poll finds the Republicans coming out the worst in the blame game. No one wants to see the federal budget plunge off the cliff, but doubts abound about how much the trip into the abyss would affect household finances. Wishful thinking perhaps, but If it happens, the polls show the GOP catching the blame.
Politicians get elected to represent the best interests of the people who sent them to Washington. In the current, rancid political environment, credit will accrue to those who bargain, compromise, and fully embrace the give-and-take of deal making. The country does best when everyone does well. Congress gets that, or should.
Please share where you think the blame falls if the worst happens? How close to home does the action in the other Washington eventually reach?
Achenblog by Joel Achenbach
Postman On Politics