Anyone who thinks he knows how the resolution of the nation’s so-called fiscal cliff will be resolved in living a fool’s life. No one involved in this fiasco has ever, ever carried through on what he or she said they would do.
The latest trial balloon is that the Republicans in the House will allow a vote on the making the Bush era tax cuts for the middle class (assuming one defines the middle class as those families making less than $250,000 a year, which or course is not the middle class) and nothing else.
Republicans are seriously considering a Doomsday Plan if fiscal cliff talks collapse entirely. It’s quite simple: House Republicans would allow a vote on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts (the bill passed in August by the Senate) and offer the President nothing more: no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes. Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling.
Now picking winners and losers in this fight is about as difficult as picking winning lottery numbers. However from here it is hard to see how this is a winning strategy for Republicans. Once the tax cuts for the bottom 98% are passed it is extremely difficult to see how Republicans gain from trying to cut taxes for the top 2%. Splitting of the votes on the tax cuts has always been a winning strategy for Democrats, it’s just that they were too blockheaded to see it.
Under this strategy Republicans seem to think they will have the upper hand, because without their action the debt ceiling will not be raised, and it is obvious they are prepared to seriously disrupt the financial markets in order to get their way. They also have experience on their side, the President has already caved once on this issue.
So everyone should hope what is proposed comes to pass. And for the President it will be retaking an exam he flunked before. Maybe he can get a passing grade this time.