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Fiscal Cliff Diving

The deficit showdown ahead.

Nov 26, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 11 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Whether Obama really wants to reform entitlements and the tax code—and whether he’s capable of bringing along enough congressional Democrats to do so—is anyone’s guess. A deal right now is only in its earliest stages, and could fall apart for

any number of reasons. It’s always possible that Obama will pull the rug out from underneath Boehner’s feet, as he did during the 2011 negotiations for a “grand bargain.”

And a revolt on the right is always possible. But even some of the staunchest conservatives recognize the reality that the expiration of the tax cuts January 1 puts them in a very difficult position. They seem resigned to a less than ideal outcome.

“It’s not hopeful from our stand- point,” says former congressman Chris Chocola, president of the conservative Club for Growth. “A difficult thing for some Republicans to resist would be a new bracket on whatever the level is, millionaires, $500,000, whatever it is.”

“Even though I may not vote for whatever the deal is, I think there will be enough votes in the conference to keep [Boehner] on solid ground,” says Rep. Tim Scott of South Carolina, a member of the House leadership team. “What we have to do is see what the deal is first.” 

John McCormack is a staff writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD. 

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