After Congress agreed temporarily to avert the "fiscal cliff" last night, President Barack Obama hailed the deal in brief remarks delivered from the White House, and then headed to Air Force One to take a midnight flight to Hawaii. Obama had left his family days earlier to return to Washington to deal with the "fiscal cliff."
A Democratic member of Congress is moving to block President Barack Obama's congressional pay increase. The move, led by John Barrow of Georgia, is to prevent the pay increase that Obama issued through an executive order from going into effect.
The fiscal cliff is a diversion, designed by politicians to conceal their inability to come to grips with the fact that they continue to spend too much, and refuse to reform a tax structure that reduces the competitiveness of American companies in world markets. No matter what deal is cut, whether before or after the new year, it will at best nibble at the edges of the trillion-dollar annual deficits that are being piled up.
"President Obama's 'Plan' Adds $8.6 Trillion to the Debt," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee contends. Here's a chart put together by the Republicans on the committee to explain how Obama's plan adds to the debt:
Senator Jeff Sessions continues to argue against the secrecy of the ongoing "fiscal cliff" negotiations with an op-ed this morning in today's Wall Street Journal. Sessions argues that the secrecy is inherently anti-Democratic, and similar to the "Russian Duma, where officials meet behind closed doors, put out the word, and the overwhelming votes materialize."
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell blasted President Barack Obama from the Senate floor this morning for not offering any specifics on spending cuts.
"With the Fiscal Cliff fast-approaching, I feel the need to point out something this morning that’s perfectly obvious to most Americans, but which Democrats in Washington still don’t seem to grasp. I’m referring to the fact that any solution to our spending and debt problem has to involve cuts to out-of-control Washington spending," said McConnell.
Seventy-five percent of the new revenue pulled in by President Barack Obama's "fiscal cliff" plan would go toward new spending, not toward deficit reduction, the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee contends. Here's a chart, detailing how money from the new tax hikes would be distributed:
Household debt jumped once again to $2.7 trillion, according to the New York Fed. "[T]he Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that in the third quarter, non-real estate household debt jumped 2.3 percent to $2.7 trillion," reports the fed. "The increase was due to a boost in student loans ($42 billion), auto loans ($18 billion) and credit card balances ($2 billion)."