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Assessing The Fiscal Cliff Deal

07 Jan 2013

Assessing The Fiscal Cliff Deal

(First Read): “Yes, liberals and Senate Democrats think President Obama gave up too much for a deal. And, yes, there’s another fiscal fight coming up. But he got a deal, proving that the GOP “fever” did break, at least for a while. He also delivered on a campaign promise to raise the taxes on the wealthy (although had to compromise from $250,000 to $450,000), and he got Republicans to give him cover in raising taxes — something Bill Clinton was never able to do. And he protects a fragile, yet growing, economy. Politico reports that “The conventional wisdom is already hardening, President Obama won this round.” SHORT-TERM WIN? (First Read continues…) “The question is how long that win lasts. After all, we’ll have another fiscal showdown in two months over the debt ceiling and the sequester. So what happened over New Year’s was a partial surgery — the patient and the doctors still need to come back to finish the job. Yes, Republicans now have more leverage heading into this debt-ceiling fight. But two things happened over New Year’s that are significant: 1) Republicans proved they could support an increase in tax rates and 2) House Republicans also proved that you don’t need a “majority of the majority” to bring legislation to the floor. And there is now a path forward for future deals, as the New York Times notes, with the White House working with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. But can that last? And who speaks for Republicans? Those are questions over which the Obama White House will have to wrestle.”

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