Fiscal Cliff Articles

Let’s Not Make a Deal

The great non-compromiser.
Jan 28, 2013

President Obama complained in a Saturday radio and Internet address that crucial issues are resolved in Washington only at the last possible moment. It was late December when he spoke, three days before the deadline on the fiscal cliff. A deal to avert automatic tax increases had yet to be reached.

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Small Ball

Why our fiscal debates amount to nothing
Jan 14, 2013

For fiscal hawks of all political stripes, the last two years have been awfully frustrating. Budget politics has been front and center almost constantly, yet we have made almost no progress toward reducing our deficits and debt.

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Starve the Beast...

Protect the middle class.
Jan 14, 2013


Almost everyone is under-estimating what Republicans have just achieved in the fiscal cliff deal, including many Republicans who supported the deal.

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The ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal: Not a Tax Hike with No Spending Cuts

4:26 PM, Jan 04, 2013

It has been widely reported that the recently passed “fiscal cliff” deal entails a tax hike with no corresponding spending cuts.  Other reports claim that the deal imposes a 41-to-1 ratio of tax hikes to spending cuts.  But neither of these claims is correct.

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Special Report Panel on the 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

9:34 AM, Jan 03, 2013

Bill Kristol, with Kirsten Powers and Charles Krauthammer, last night on Fox News:

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Obama's Staff Uses Autopen to Sign 'Fiscal Cliff' Legislation

No signing ceremony.
6:01 AM, Jan 03, 2013

President Barack Obama's staff used an autopen (a machine that mimics one's signature) to sign the "fiscal cliff" legislation that Congress passed on New Year's Day. There was no ceremony or photo-op for the autopen bill signing.

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Doctors vs. Hospitals

12:51 PM, Jan 02, 2013

Among the many items bundled into the fiscal cliff fix there was another delay in implementing cuts to physician payments for Medicare services.  It wasn't hard, though.  Congress has had plenty of practice handling what is called the "doc fix," since it has been doing it almost routinely for the last decade.

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Paul Ryan Explains Why He Voted for 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal

8:14 AM, Jan 02, 2013

Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, explains why he voted in favor of the "fiscal cliff" deal last night in the House of Representatives:

“We’ll never get our debt under control unless we tackle its main drivers: too little economic growth and too much spending. Without presidential leadership, it will be difficult to forge bipartisan solutions to our debt and economic challenges.

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Back to Vacation: Obama Takes Midnight Flight to Hawaii

Round-trip cost of president's return trip: $3.6 million.
7:04 AM, Jan 02, 2013

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."

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On the Other Hand …

2:24 PM, Jan 01, 2013

I suggested earlier today that enough House Republicans should support the Senate fiscal cliff bill to see that it passes. But here's an email from a reader whom I know and respect:

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Say Yes to the Mess

12:15 PM, Jan 01, 2013

The fiscal cliff deal that the Senate passed early this morning is ridiculous in too many ways to count. There seem to be no figures from the Congressional Budget Office and only "very preliminary" figures from the Joint Tax Committee about the real spending and revenue implications. The two month delay of the sequester will make actual governance even more difficult (how is the Pentagon supposed to plan for the rest of the year?).

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Senate Passes Tax Bill

9:05 AM, Jan 01, 2013

The New York Times reports:

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Source: Tax Terms Locked

2:39 PM, Dec 31, 2012

A senior Republican Senate aide passes along the tax terms of the deal being worked out by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill and the White House to avert the "fiscal cliff." These terms are "locked," says the source, between Senate Republicans and the White House:


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Obama Hits Congress: Big Deal 'Too Much to Hope for at This Time'

2:25 PM, Dec 31, 2012

President Barack Obama hit Congress for not getting together to offer him a bigger deal during a speech today at the White House.

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Obama: 'Looks Like I'm Going to Be Spending New Year's Here in D.C.'

2:12 PM, Dec 31, 2012

President Barack Obama tipped his hand today during a speech at the White House ... about how he plans to spend this New Year's Eve.

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Obama: 'Last Thing You Want to Hear on New Year's Eve Is Another Speech from Me'

2:03 PM, Dec 31, 2012

President Barack Obama began his afternoon remarks at the White House by saying, "I realize that the last thing you want to hear on New Year's Eve is another speech from me."

But he suggested "progress" has been made on a "fiscal cliff" deal.

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Harry Reid: 'I Don't Have a Counteroffer to Make'

2:53 PM, Dec 30, 2012

Harry Reid, on the Senate floor, said that he just spoke with President Barack Obama, but that they do not have a "counteroffer to make" to Republicans:

"We did have conversations last night that ended late in the evening between staffs, this morning we've been trying to come up with some counteroffer to my friends' proposals," said Reid, saying he's had a number" of conversations with the president. "I don't have a counteroffer to make."

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Obama Orders Pay Raise for Biden, Members of Congress, Federal Workers

12:50 PM, Dec 28, 2012

President Barack Obama issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees, in effect giving some federal workers a raise. One federal worker now to receive a pay increase is Vice President Joe Biden.

According to disclosure forms, Biden made a cool $225,521 last year. After the pay increase, he'll now make $231,900 per year.

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Treasury Dept. Tells Staff Not to Worry About 'Fiscal Cliff'

9:01 AM, Dec 26, 2012

The Treasury Department is telling its staff not to worry about the "fiscal cliff," an internal memorandum sent to all employees reveals. The memo, which is signed by the deputy secretary of the treasury, Neal S. Wolin, states that "there is no reason why both sides should not be able to come together" to reach a deal.

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Spending to Increase 55 Percent Under Obama's Plan

2:25 PM, Dec 24, 2012

Spending will increase 55 percent over the next decade, if President Barack Obama's budget plan goes into effect. The finding comes from the Republican-side of the Senate Budget Committee, which notes that Obama's "Proposal Would Spend $880 Billion Over Already Projected Increases."

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Republicans Fight for Small, Democrats for Big, Business

9:33 AM, Dec 24, 2012

As the tax debate continues, Republicans have a good opportunity to contrast their own support for small businesses with the Democrats' support for big business.

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The Real Cliff

The staggering debt from decades of continuous government borrowing is about to come due
Dec 24, 2012

Obama’s Hard Line

He wants a ‘deal’—on his terms.
Dec 24, 2012

The Demographic Cliff

7:07 AM, Dec 20, 2012

The New York Times has finally discovered that fiscal cliffs aren’t the only thing that menace the modern nation-state. There’s a demographic cliff, too.

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Reid Adjourns Senate for Viewing of 'Lincoln'

6:05 PM, Dec 19, 2012

Senate majority leader Harry Reid has adjourned the Senate to allow for a viewing of the Hollywood film Lincoln.

Senate Republicans propose initial $24B in Sandy aid, then adjourn to watch "Lincoln." Obama wanted 60B.

— Joel Siegel (@joelmsiegel) December 19, 2012  Read more

Real 'Deal,' or Media Myth?

11:36 AM, Dec 18, 2012

CNN reports, "US President Barack Obama offered to back away from his position that tax hikes should begin at $250,000 in annual income, delivering a fresh concession to congressional Republicans as talks to avert the fiscal cliff intensified in Washington."

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Permanent Gridlock

The showdowns on spending won’t end until the voters make up their minds.
Dec 17, 2012



As the nation heads ever closer to the so-called fiscal cliff—​the January 1 deadline at which, absent congressional and presidential action, taxes will go up and (on January 2) spending will go down—

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Spender in Chief

The president doesn’t want a deal; he wants higher taxes, on his terms.
Dec 17, 2012


Among President Obama’s rhetorical skills is an impressive mastery of lip service. He displayed it last week when he spoke to the Business Roundtable, the lobby for big business. And he did so without betraying even a hint that his words were bunk.

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Pelosi Skips Town Amid 'Fiscal Cliff' Talks

Attends birthday party and funeral.
10:17 AM, Dec 14, 2012

A day after complaining that the "fiscal cliff" negotiations are "getting boring," Nancy Pelosi was spotted yesterday afternoon skipping town.

She was comfortably situated in first class on United Airlines flight 1460, which was scheduled to leave Dulles Airport at 2:53 p.m. and arrive in San Francisco 5:57 p.m. A list on United's website of those who were on the upgrade standby list reveals that PEL, N. (presumably, Nancy Pelosi) was upgraded to seat 4F, a window seat in first class.

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W.H. Won't Touch Medicare Eligibility Age

1:45 PM, Dec 13, 2012

President Barack Obama won't touch the eligibility age for Medicare, Senator Dick Durbin told reporters. The AP reports:

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