Instead, members of Congress are increasingly looking at the period immediately after the Dec. 31 deadline to come up with a retroactive fix to avoid the steep tax hikes and sharp spending cuts that economists have said could plunge the country into another recession.
"It's feeling very much to me like an optical meeting than a substantive meeting," said Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, noting that it was not a sign of urgency to set a meeting for mid-afternoon with a deadline just days away.
"Any time you announce a meeting publicly in Washington, it's usually for political theater purposes," Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said on Thursday on Fox News."When the president calls congressional leaders to the White House, it's all political theater or they've got a deal. My bet is all political theater," said Graham, adding that he did not believe an agreement could be reached before the deadline.
With taxes on all Americans set to rise when rates established under former President George W. Bush expire on Dec. 31, lawmakers would be able to come back in January and take a more politically palatable vote to cut some of the tax rates.
U.S. stocks fell on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average dropping 0.48 percent as investors fretted about the lack of certainty.
But some in the market were resigned to Washington going beyond the New Year's Day deadline, as long as a serious agreement on deficit reduction comes out of the talks in early January.
"Regardless of whether the government resolves the issues now, any deal can easily be retroactive. We're not as concerned with Jan. 1 as the market seems to be," said Richard Weiss, a Mountain View, California-based senior money manager at American Century Investments.
The new factor in the mix was involvement by Re
The new factor in the mix was involvement by Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who held conversations with Obama this week and said he expected a new proposal from the president that he would consider.
The White House spent much of Thursday stifling expectations for any new offer from Obama, beyond the limited fallback plan he outlined in vague terms on Dec. 21, which would protect what he described as "middle class Americans" from the tax hikes, extend unemployment insurance and lay the "groundwork for further work" on deficit reduction and tax reform.
The major sticking point on taxes is Republican opposition to hikes on anyone, particularly in the absence of heavy cuts in spending for so-called entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, the government-run health programs for senior citizens and the poor.
Democrats in Congress want to keep lower tax rates for most Americans but raise them on those earning above $250,000 a year.
"The wealthy have got to kick in," Senator Debbie Stabenow, a Michigan Democrat, said Friday on CNN. "The tough part is in the House, where they have taken this very extreme position" of "protecting the wealthy at all costs," she said.
© 2012 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
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the course has been set a long time ago....they are just acting to make austerity more palatible to the masses.
It actually would help going over the fiscal cliff, it is the only way to recover some of the debt we have accrued!
We should have defaulted in 2008....and we DARN sure should never have done TARP
Iceland Was Right, We Were Wrong: The IMF
For approximately three years, our governments, the banking cabal, and the Corporate Media have assured us that they knew the appropriate approach for fixing the economies that they had previously crippled with their own mismanagement. We were told that the key was to stomp on the Little People with “austerity” in order to continue making full interest payments to the Bond Parasites — at any/all costs.
Following three years of this continuous, uninterrupted failure, Greece has already defaulted on 75% of its debts, and its economy is totally destroyed. The UK, Spain and Italy are all plummeting downward in suicide-spirals, where the more austerity these sadistic governments inflict upon their own people the worse their debt/deficit problems get. Ireland and Portugal are nearly in the same position.
Now in what may be the greatest economic “mea culpa” in history, we have the media admitting that this government/banking/propaganda-machine troika has been wrong all along. They have been forced to acknowledge that Iceland’s approach to economic triage was the correct approach right from the beginning.
What was Iceland’s approach? To do the exact opposite of everything the bankers running our own economies told us to do. The bankers (naturally) told us that we needed to bail out the criminal Big Banks, at taxpayer expense (they were Too Big To Fail). Iceland gave the banksters nothing.
The bankers told us that no amount of suffering (for the Little People) was too great in order to make sure that the Bond Parasites got paid at 100 cents on the dollar. Iceland told the Bond Parasites they would get what was left over, after the people had been taken care of (by their own government).
The bankers told us that our governments could no longer afford the same education, health care and pension systems which our parents had taken for granted. Iceland told the bankers that what the country could no longer afford was to continue to be blood-sucked by the worst financial criminals in the history of our species. Now, after three-plus years of this absolute dichotomy in economic policymaking, a clear picture has emerged (despite the best efforts of the propaganda machine to hide the truth).
In typical fashion, the moment that the Corporate Media is forced to admit that it has been serially misinforming us for the past several years; the Revisionists are immediately deployed to rewrite history, as shown in this Bloomberg Businessweek excerpt:
…the island’s approach to its rescue led to a “surprisingly” strong recovery, the International Monetary Fund’s mission chief to the country said.
In fact, from the moment the Crash of ’08 was orchestrated and our morally bankrupt governments began executing the plans of the bankers, I have written that the only rational strategy was to put People before Parasites. While I wouldn’t expect national policymakers to take their cues from my writin
Rather, I have consistently argued that it was a matter of simple arithmetic and the most-elementary principles of economics that “the Iceland approach” was the only strategy which could possibly succeed. When Plutarch wrote 2,000 years ago “an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all Republics,” he was not parroting socialist dogma (1,500 years before the birth of Socialism).
Plutarch was simply expressing the First Principle of economics; something on which all of the modern capitalist economists who followed in his footsteps have based their own theories. When modern economists produce their own jargon, such as the Marginal Propensity to Consume; it is squarely based on the wisdom of Plutarch: that an economy will always be healthier with its wealth in the hands of the poor and the Middle Class instead of being hoarded by rich misers (and gamblers).
So when the Bloomberg Revisionists attempt to convince us that Iceland’s strong (and real)economic recovery was a “surprise”; this could only be true if none of our governments, none of the bankers and none of the media’s precious “experts” understood the most-elementary principles of arithmetic and economics. Is this the message the media wants to convey?
What is even more disingenuous here is the congratulatory tone in this exercise in Revisionism, since nothing could be further from the truth. As I detailed in a four-part series one year ago, the campaign of “economic rape” perpetrated against the governments of Europe over the past two and half years (in particular) has been expressly designed to take away “the Iceland option” for Europe’s other governments.
One of the reasons for Iceland being able to escape the choke-hold of the Western banking cabal is that its economy (and its people) still retained enough residual prosperity to tough it out — as the banking cabal tried to strangle Iceland’s economy as retribution for rejecting their Debt Slavery.
Thus, austerity has been nothing less than a deliberate campaign to destroy these European economies so that the Slaves would be too economically weak to be able to sever their own choke-holds. Mission accomplished!
One can only assume that neither the Corporate Media nor their Banker Masters would have allowed this clear acknowledgment that Iceland was right and we were wrong to appear within its own pages, unless it felt secure in the knowledge that all the remaining Debt Slaves had been crippled beyond their capacity to ever escape this economic oppression.
Indeed, for evidence of this we need only look to Greece: the one other European nation where there had been “rumblings” (i.e. riots) aimed at toppling the Traitor Government that served the banking cabal. After two elections, the combination of fear and propaganda bullied the long-suffering Greek people into choosing another Traitor Government — which had expressly pledged itself to reinforcing the bonds of economic slavery. When the Slaves vote for slavery, the Slave Masters can afford to gloat.
Here, the purpose of this Bloomberg propaganda was not to praise Iceland’s government (when both the bankers and Corporate Media despise Iceland with all of their considerable malice). Rather, the goal of this disinformation was to manufacture a new Big Lie.
Instead of the Truth: that from Day 1 Iceland’s approach was the only possible strategy which could have succeeded, while our own governments chose a strategy intended to fail; we get the Big Lie. Our Traitor Governments were acting honestly and honourably; and Iceland’s success and our failure was yet another “surprise which no one could have predicted.”
We saw precisely the same Revisionism following the Crash of ’08 itself, where the mainstream media trotted out all their expert-shills to tell us they had been “surprised” by this economic event; while those within the precious metals sector had been predicting precisely such a cataclysm, in ever more-assertive terms, for several years.
The real message here for readers is that when an economic strategy of People before Parasites succeeds that there is nothing the least-bit “surprising” about this. As with all the remainder of the world around us, promoting the health of Parasites is only good for the Parasites themselves.
Yes, you are right, in 2008 ,he should not have bail out anybody.that put us in more debt...he is planning anyhow to go over the cliff, this is all an act.