The Fiscal Cliff Is Closer As Congress, Obama Are Farther Apart

And I Will See Your . . .
On Monday Republicans provided the White House with a counteroffer, which was almost immediately rebuffed by the Obama administration. And so the rhetorical and legislative back-and-forth continues as Wall Street and Main Street grow more concerned about the potential economic impact of a continued stalemate.

Hope Floats
Former Treasury Secretary Roger Altman, now with Evercore Partners Inc, holds out hope that Congress and the Obama administration will identify a solution that suits both sides. Included in a palatable agreement, Altman says, would be three key points.

“A successful agreement would embody three principles; it will be large enough to  stabilise the debt to gross domestic product ratio, meaning about $4.5tn in  savings over 10 years; it will include a balance of spending cuts and revenue  raising measures; and it will be divided into two phases because, with just four  weeks left, there isn’t time to legislate the entire package,” writes Altman in the Financial Times.

Also expressing some optimism is Jason Thomas of the Carlyle Group, who asserts that the fiscal cliff may not have as much of a negative impact as many economists believe.


So, who is winning the debate over the fiscal cliff? According to Ted Dehaven of the libertarian Cato Institute, the clear victor is the status quo.


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