Now Here’s The Irony Of Boehner’s New Fiscal Cliff Plan…

John Boehner

Earlier Tuesday morning, House Speaker John Boehner announced a “Plan B” to avert the so-called fiscal cliff. The plan, which he intends to bring to the House floor for a vote, includes tax hikes for incomes above $1 million, while the Bush-era tax cuts would remain in place for all other income brackets.

The irony of Boehner’s plan is this: Six months ago, he would have had the support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — but not his own caucus. 

In May, Pelosi sent a letter to Boehner demanding immediate consideration of a vote on a Bush tax cut extension for incomes below $1 million. 

“It is unacceptable to hold tax cuts for the middle class hostage to extending multi-billion dollar tax breaks for millionaires, Big Oil, special interests, and corporations that ship jobs overseas,” Pelosi wrote.

Of course, that is the exact plan that Boehner plans on bringing to a vote soon. It was a plan that Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) loosely proposed as far back as 2010

But circumstances have changed, and today Democrats, not Republicans, stand firmly opposed to the plan. President Barack Obama won re-election and has claimed a mandate to increase taxes on incomes above $250,000, a campaign pledge. (He backed off that pledge on Monday with a new offer to Boehner that would increase rates on incomes above $400,000.) Fresh off Obama’s victory, Democrats are viewed more favorably, in general, in than Republicans in fiscal-cliff polls.

House Democratic Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer told Politico on Tuesday that Pelosi was making a “political ploy” with her May letter to Boehner. He also said Boehner was doing the same thing with the new “Plan B” vote vote. Boehner’s plan also differs in details from the Democratic-led plan in the summer, and it does not address the mandatory spending cuts set to kick in as part of the fiscal cliff.

Nevertheless, it puts Democrats in an awkward political position.

“For years, Washington Democrats — led by Sen. Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi — have been calling for a bill to stop the tax hikes except on millionaires,” Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement. “They even voted in favor of it. To oppose it now would make them entirely responsible for the tax hikes that tens of millions of Americans face in less than two weeks. They know that, and the President knows that.

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Here’s What The Fiscal Cliff Deal Looks Like Right Now

john boehner barack obama side by side

The clock is ticking for the White House and congressional Republicans to come up with a plan for how to avoid the “fiscal cliff”–the more than $500 billion in annual tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to go into effect on January 1. 

As the deadline draws closer, both sides have staked out positions, and each side is pretending that they won’t compromise.

But Washington does its best work when things are down to the wire, so political insiders insist that it’s still likely that the two parties will come to some kind of agreement by the end of the month or shortly thereafter. 

Below, we take a look at where the negotiations currently stand, and at what the deal is expected to look like when all is said and done. We’ll update this post as talks progress, so check back for new developments. 

Here’s The Consensus

The consensus among political insiders is that the White House and congressional Republicans will reach a deal, even if it means lawmakers have to return to Washington after Christmas. 

Here’s the general consensus of what the deal will look like: 

  • Around $1 trillion in additional tax revenue over 10 years, including the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000. Despite public posturing, it is widely believed that the GOP will end up agreeing to raise marginal tax rates on high-income earners. Top Republicans have started to raise doubts about whether it is politically wise for the GOP to go over the cliff in order to protect tax rates for the wealthy, and the business community is putting pressure on the party to give in to raising taxes on high-income earners.
    • The tax increases will likely include treating dividends as ordinary income (which will mean a tax increase from 15% to 40% for the top bracket)
    • Long-term capital gains taxes will likely rise from 15% back to 20%, the rate before the Bush tax cuts took effect
    • Some observers, Ben White of POLITICO, for example, believe that the top income tax bracket will not rise all the way back to the Clinton era 39.6% but, instead, will increase to 37% or so.
    • The consensus is that the deal will NOT include the extension of the payroll tax cut or unemployment benefits, both of which the White House has asked for. 
    • The estate tax hurdle will likely be returned to 2009 levels
    • The consensus is that there will NOT be any capping of deductions, which the Republicans have proposed.
  • About $1 trillion in spending cuts
    • These cuts are expected to include defense spending and entitlement spending
    • They are also expected to include $400 billion in cuts to Medicare
  • The consensus is that the deal will NOT include permanent removal of the debt ceiling (something the White House has asked for).
    • The deal might include a raising of the current debt ceiling, however, to head off another near-term fight
  • The deal is NOT expected to include any new stimulus (The White House has asked for $50 billion–a combination of infrastructure spending and aid to underwater mortgage holders.)

So, that’s the general consensus of what a deal might look like.

There is also an increasing view that the deal won’t happen until January, when both sides can tell constituents that they did not vote to raise taxes (because taxes will have already gone up), but, instead, voted to cut taxes and spending.

Now, here’s where the two sides are…

Here’s The White House Offer: 

Last week, the White House laid out its initial offer to GOP congressional leaders. According to a leaked reports from Republicans aides obtained by the Washington Post, the plan includes: 

  • $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, including: 
    • Allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those earning more than $250,000 
    • Taxing capital gains and dividends as ordinary income for high-income earners 
    • Capping deductions for high-income taxpayers
    • Returning the estate tax to 2009 levels
  • Deferring sequester spending cuts, which includes cuts to defense spending and other domestic spending
  • $600 billion in unspecified spending cuts, including $400 billion in savings from Medicare and social programs to be determined next year, with no guarantees 
  • $200 billion in new spending including: 
    • A $110 billion extension of the payroll tax 
    • $50 billion of additional stimulus spending in 2013 
    • A mass home mortgage refinancing proposal  
    • A $30 billion extension of unemployment insurance
  • The end of Congressional control over the debt ceiling 

The White House confirmed last week that the administration’s plan closely resembles the president’s “Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction,” which was submitted in September 2011. 

Now, the ball appears to be in the GOP’s court. 

Republicans responded to the administration’s proposal with mockery and disbelief, dismissing the plan as a “joke” that avoids tough choices on how to cut spending and reform entitlement programs. Publicly, GOP leaders have said that they are willing to increase revenues, but will not agree to a deal that raises marginal tax rates on high-income earners. Top Republicans are also insisting that any deal includes specifics on entitlement reform.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration appears to have staked out its line in the sand. In an interview with Meet The Press Sunday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said that the White House is waiting for the GOP to declare how far they are willing to go to raise taxes on the wealthy. He also said that if the GOP wants entitlement cuts, they are going to have to propose them first. 

Here’s The Republican Counter-Offer: 

House Republican leaders issued a formal response to the White House’s proposal, proposing a fiscal cliff agreement based on the plan that former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles presented to the super committee back in November 2011. 

That plan would raise revenues by $800 billion by closing loopholes and deductions. In the letter, Republicans make it clear that they will not agree to raising marginal tax rates on high-income earners. 

The plan also includes $900 billion in mandatory spending cuts, as well as $300 billion in discretionary spending. 

Notably, Boehner’s letter does not give any specifics on how Republicans would achieve these revenue increases or spending cuts, but simply proposes using Bowles plan as a framework for negotiations. 

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The 8 Things That Are Awful About The Fiscal Cliff

The fiscal cliff is awful.

Here’s why.

1. It’s awful that there’s any possibility of imminent austerity.

The US recovery has far exceeded the recovery around the entire world because the US has been able to resist the siren song of spending cuts and tax increases. The recovery has been good by historical standards, the economy is still weak, with unemployment still way too high.

History is pretty clear that premature austerity not only kills recoveries, but also worsens the deficit situation, as this chart from Richard Koo (which is in reference to Japan’s Balance Sheet Recovery) shows.

Click to enlarge

japan austerity premature

2. It’s awful that the sequester — the spending cuts part of the cliff — was only brought about because one party insisted on hardcore austerity during the debt ceiling negotiations.

Everyone agrees that the spending cuts domestically and to defense are a bad thing that should be avoided, or phased in slowly. But they only exist because the Republicans tried to make hardcore austerity part of the Debt Ceiling negotiations in 2011. Now they insist on undoing them.

3. It’s awful that the media coverage of the Fiscal Cliff is so bad.

Countdown clocks. Graphics of cars flying off cliffs to fiery death is no deal is made by January 1? Come on. Although it would be bad to let the spending cuts and tax hikes fully go into effect, if this thing is addressed in early January, things will be okay (unlike the Debt Ceiling, which really was a big deal).

4. It’s awful that nobody is talking about extending the Payroll Tax Cut Holiday.

The reduction of payroll taxes is one of the biggest things that’s expiring on January 1, and it’s one area that flows through directly to all workers. It appears to not be on the table at all.

5. It’s awful that nobody is talking about extending emergency unemployment benefits.

Unemployment has come down, but it’s still too high. Nobody is even arguing that they should be extended.

6. It’s awful that people think that the Fiscal Cliff has something to do with our gigantic national debt.

There are so many reports about how the Fiscal Cliff crisis is about “solving” our national debt problem, when in reality it’s exactly the opposite. It’s about preventing imminent austerity (via tax hikes and spending cuts), and preserving our loose fiscal policy.

7. It’s awful that because of this conclusion, there’s so much demand to talk to Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, who chaired a deficit commission, and who have a big campaign to reduce the debt.

Simpson and Bowles are on TV everywhere, all the time, because they’re regarded as a-partisan, “serious” experts on fiscal matters. They shouldn’t be. Their whole thing is about reducing spending. This crisis is about a way of avoiding reducing spending. They have no credibility on this issue.

8. It’s awful that Simpson and Bowles have been able to parlay this fame into $40,000 speaking fees.

Actually, hats off to ’em! This is America (but we have serious questions about anyone who would spending $40,000 to listen to them).

So all around: Awful situation, awful coverage, and awful political hypocrisy.

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Obama Says He Wants A Deal On The Fiscal Cliff ‘By Christmas’

Barack Obama

President Barack Obama is speaking at the White House, urging Congress to extend the Bush tax cuts for the middle class and reach an agreement over how to avoid the fiscal cliff. 

“Our ultimate goal is an agreement that gets our long-term deficit under control in a way that is fair and balanced,” Obama said, adding later: “If we get this wrong, the economy is going to go south.”

But he called on Congress to sepa  separate the extension of the middle-class tax cuts from the rest of the fiscal cliff negotiations.

“Right now, Congress can pass a law that would prevent a tax hike on the first $250,000 of everybody’s income,” he said. “That means 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses wouldn’t see their taxes go up by a single dime.”

Obama’s speech today is the first of several campaign-style fiscal cliff events the president has scheduled this week, including a visit to a factory in Pennsylvania Friday, as he attempts to capitalize on the momentum from his re-election victory, and back Republicans into a corner over the middle-class tax cut extension, which is overwhelmingly popular with voters.

“A clear majority of Americans agree we should have a balanced approach to deficit reduction that doesn’t hurt middle-class families,” Obama said. “I’m asking the American people to make your voices heard. Call your members of Congress. Write them, email, post it on their Facebook walls. You can tweet it using the hashtag my2k.” 

*This post has been updated.

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New White House Report On Keeping Middle Class Taxes Low Totally Ignores One Big Coming Tax Hike

the white house

The White House has just released a report on the negative economic impact of a hike in tax rates for the middle class.

And there’s a lot of good stuff in the report, about how a failure to prevent the across-the-board tax hikes on January 1 would sap consumer spending and slam a range of industries.

But there’s one big thing that gets totally left out…

First, here specifically are the President’s proposals:

Under the President’s proposal, the 98 percent of American families with incomes of less than $250,000 per year would continue to benefit in full from the income tax cuts expiring at the end of 2012, including:
— The doubling of the Child Tax Credit to $1,000 per child, and the extension of the credit to millions of
working families that previously could not benefit from it.
— The 10 percent tax bracket, which will provide middle-class couples with a tax cut of up to $890 next year.
— Marriage penalty relief, which reduces or eliminates marriage penalties for nearly 38 million couples.
— Lower tax rates on up to $250,000 of income ($200,000 for single filers).
— Under the President’s plan, the income tax rates for high-income households would return to what they were under President Clinton, when the economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, we went from deficit to surplus, and businesses and investors did very well.

So what’s missing?

There’s no mention of The Payroll Tax Holiday, which was agreed to in 2010, and which reduced workers contributions from 6.2% to 4.2%, and which is due to expire in 2013.

For the average family, it works out to $40 each pay period (Nomura), and it’s worth about $126 billion to the economy (Goldman).

With the economy still weak it makes plenty of sense to keep the holiday going longer, but The White House’s new release makes clear that it’s not really on the table.

For more on the significance of the payroll tax holiday, see here >

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All Workers Should Be Worried About The Huge Fiscal Cliff Component That Nobody Is Planning To Fix

social security

The primary focus of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations is the Income Tax. Liberals want the rate raised for high earners. Conservatives don’t.

The next concern is the sequestration, and in particular the cuts that will befall the defense industry.

Getting almost no play, however, is the payroll tax holiday.

In a recent Slate piece, Matt Yglesias explained the law that’s at stake:

The last—but by no means least—element is the payroll tax holiday. In the 2009 stimulus bill, the Obama administration included a $400 “Making Work Pay” tax credit. Republicans didn’t want to extend that policy during the last lame-duck session, mostly because it was too closely identified with Obama, but they agreed to a similar idea: a payroll tax holiday that reduced workers’ share of Social Security taxes from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. The idea of the payroll tax holiday was to give a boost to the economy in a form that’s ideologically congenial to Republicans and doesn’t risk becoming a permanent expansion.

He went on to describe some of the stakes if the holiday isn’t extended

Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse of the Economic Policy Institute estimate that the employment impact of rescinding the payroll tax holiday will be larger than the impact of letting all the Bush tax cuts expire. Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, says ending the holiday would shave 0.6 percentage points off 2013 GDP growth, effectively canceling out the benefits of QE3. And that’s no coincidence. The Bush tax cuts are mainly about conservative long-term growth strategy (incentivizing the job creators) with a hefty dose of middle-class income boosting through tax credits and deductions thrown in to make the medicine more palatable. The payroll tax holiday, by contrast, was actually designed to be an economic stimulus measure.

Annie Lowrey of the NYT reported back in September that politicians had lost interest in extending it.

In a recent note, Nomura’s Ellen Zenter wrote:

Both parties in Congress have quietly agreed to let the payroll tax holiday expire. For a family of four making the median household income, that tax cut is worth about $40 a paycheck if you get paid bi-weekly. As noted in the November sentiment survey, “consumers do not make a distinction between federal income and payroll taxes, so any settlement that excludes an extension of the payroll tax cut could reduce optimism starting in early January.” We contend that households may curb spending in anticipation of lower take-home pay before January, cutting into late-holiday spending.

In Goldman’s assumption about the eventual “deal”, the Payroll Tax Cut is expected to completely expire as the law currently stands.

fiscal cliff goldman

It’s possible that the issue is getting some play, however.

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat at the NYT argues today that not only should Republicans embrace the holiday, they should then advocate a full repeal in favor of a Social Security system paid for out of general revenues. It seems incredibly unlikely that anyone would sign this wholesale change to Social Security’s funding, though at least people are talking about the upcoming expiry.

Says Douthat:

It’s been left to a few prominent Democrats, including Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, to make the case for letting the holiday continue. This is a positive sign for liberalism, since it suggests a preference for middle-class paychecks over middle-class entitlements, and a willingness to recognize that the ideals of work and thrift and upward mobility aren’t necessarily well served by the way we tax and spend today.

It will be a discouraging sign for conservatism if these Democrats don’t find Republican allies. Nothing cost the Republican Party more dearly in the last election than the sense that the party didn’t care about the struggles of the middle class. The payroll tax cut is addressed directly to those struggles — and it’s also a case where the short-term interests of Americans living paycheck to paycheck align with the long-term conservative interest in entitlement reform.

Bottom line: This is a huge component of the Fiscal Cliff that’s hardly gotten any attention. It’s getting some buzz now, but assuming that’s not enough to change the current trajectory of things, then that means US consumers will get dinged regardless of the deal on taxes.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how big the payroll tax cut holiday is compared to everything else >

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Read more from source:“Business Insider”

All Workers Should Be Worried About The Huge Fiscal Cliff Component That Hardly Anyone Is Trying To Fix

social security

The primary focus of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations is the Income Tax. Liberals want the rate raised for high earners. Conservatives don’t.

The next concern is the sequestration, and in particular the cuts that will befall the defense industry.

Getting almost no play, however, is the payroll tax holiday.

In a recent Slate piece, Matt Yglesias explained the law that’s at stake:

The last—but by no means least—element is the payroll tax holiday. In the 2009 stimulus bill, the Obama administration included a $400 “Making Work Pay” tax credit. Republicans didn’t want to extend that policy during the last lame-duck session, mostly because it was too closely identified with Obama, but they agreed to a similar idea: a payroll tax holiday that reduced workers’ share of Social Security taxes from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. The idea of the payroll tax holiday was to give a boost to the economy in a form that’s ideologically congenial to Republicans and doesn’t risk becoming a permanent expansion.

He went on to describe some of the stakes if the holiday isn’t extended

Josh Bivens and Andrew Fieldhouse of the Economic Policy Institute estimate that the employment impact of rescinding the payroll tax holiday will be larger than the impact of letting all the Bush tax cuts expire. Jan Hatzius, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, says ending the holiday would shave 0.6 percentage points off 2013 GDP growth, effectively canceling out the benefits of QE3. And that’s no coincidence. The Bush tax cuts are mainly about conservative long-term growth strategy (incentivizing the job creators) with a hefty dose of middle-class income boosting through tax credits and deductions thrown in to make the medicine more palatable. The payroll tax holiday, by contrast, was actually designed to be an economic stimulus measure.

Annie Lowrey of the NYT reported back in September that politicians had lost interest in extending it.

In a recent note, Nomura’s Ellen Zenter wrote:

Both parties in Congress have quietly agreed to let the payroll tax holiday expire. For a family of four making the median household income, that tax cut is worth about $40 a paycheck if you get paid bi-weekly. As noted in the November sentiment survey, “consumers do not make a distinction between federal income and payroll taxes, so any settlement that excludes an extension of the payroll tax cut could reduce optimism starting in early January.” We contend that households may curb spending in anticipation of lower take-home pay before January, cutting into late-holiday spending.

In Goldman’s assumption about the eventual “deal”, the Payroll Tax Cut is expected to completely expire as the law currently stands.

fiscal cliff goldman

It’s possible that the issue is getting some play, however.

Conservative columnist Ross Douthat at the NYT argues today that not only should Republicans embrace the holiday, they should then advocate a full repeal in favor of a Social Security system paid for out of general revenues. It seems incredibly unlikely that anyone would sign this wholesale change to Social Security’s funding, though at least people are talking about the upcoming expiry.

Says Douthat:

It’s been left to a few prominent Democrats, including Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, to make the case for letting the holiday continue. This is a positive sign for liberalism, since it suggests a preference for middle-class paychecks over middle-class entitlements, and a willingness to recognize that the ideals of work and thrift and upward mobility aren’t necessarily well served by the way we tax and spend today.

It will be a discouraging sign for conservatism if these Democrats don’t find Republican allies. Nothing cost the Republican Party more dearly in the last election than the sense that the party didn’t care about the struggles of the middle class. The payroll tax cut is addressed directly to those struggles — and it’s also a case where the short-term interests of Americans living paycheck to paycheck align with the long-term conservative interest in entitlement reform.

Bottom line: This is a huge component of the Fiscal Cliff that’s hardly gotten any attention. It’s getting some buzz now, but assuming that’s not enough to change the current trajectory of things, then that means US consumers will get dinged regardless of the deal on taxes.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how big the payroll tax cut holiday is compared to everything else >

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Here’s What’s Going On

Thanksgiving is a nice opportunity to step back and look at the big picture of what’s going on in the world without getting distracted by the latest headline.

Here is a quick summary of the big macro stories in the world that are actually a matter of some debate and interest.

1. Japan and the yen: On a debt-to-GDP basis, the Japanese government is the world’s most indebted. Yet for years, those who have bet against the yen or Japanese Government Bonds have hit a brick wall. But without much fanfare (up until recently) the yen has been weakening, and is now at an 8-month low against the dollar. This comes amid two big developments. One is that Japan is now persistently running monthly trade deficits (contrary to its long standing reputation as an export giant). The other is that the country is about to have an election, where the leading candidate is running on a platform of aggressive inflation targeting and bond buying.

These developments have given Japan uber-bears like Kyle Bass new motivation to make the case that the country is going to have a meltdown.

Most of Wall Street is far more sanguine, but there is no question that the short-yen trade is the hottest thing around.

As SocGen’s Kit Juckes put it in his morning note this morning…

There has been no news in USD/JPY, but the yen is still weakening steadily across the board. That can continue as yen shorts are put on against other Asian currencies. AUD/JPY and NZD/JPY can be popular trades that suck in a lot of semi-retail funds. EUR/JPY has broken sharply higher, too. By mid-December there may be too many yen shorts out there, but we’ll worry about that another day.

Morgan Stanley’s 2013 FX outlook is titled: The Year of JPY Weakness.

yen In that note, they make an interesting argument for why foreign money will likely desert Japan, further weakening the yen.

Over the past two years, net portfolio inflows into Japan have been almost entirely in the money markets. With Japanese money market instruments providing no yield, foreign investors have bought these investments in the hope that JPY appreciation ‘pays the dividend’. As such, with the BoJ likely to engage in a much more aggressive easing stance, this should drive not only an unwinding of currency hedges, but also an outflow from the Japanese money market. We believe that the combination of these flows will drive JPY materially weaker…

2. Chinese green shoots: China has had a pretty dismal year. It’s stock market has been a dog, and fears of hard landing grew much louder. But… over the past several weeks, sentiment has shifted fairly significantly. If people aren’t outright positive about it, the number of hard landing folks have diminished.

For one thing, the country’s leadership transition went smooth.

For another thing, the data lately has been better.

China’s Flash PMI hit a 13-month high last night.

And from Morgan Stanley, here’s another set of green shoots charts. Click to enlarge.

China Green Shoots

There’s still the big issue of China converting from an investment-led economy to a consumer-driven one. And that’s expected to result in a very different picture of demand (bad for commodities, etc.). It might also result in a much slower than expected long-term glide path, in terms of GDP. But the big story aside, the story at the moment is all these jumps in lines with red circles around them.

3. European crisis: The sovereign debt crisis really started on Thanksgiving Day, 2009, when Dubai World went bust, and people immediately started talking about Greece as the next big risk. And yet here we are. The European crisis really seems to go anywhere, but if you go back to this time last year, you can see that actually a lot of progress has been made. Nobody thinks that Spain or Italy or France or anyone else is about to go bust. Greece seems to be close to a deal to push its problems in the future. And the ECB has a plan in place to buy bonds from countries (except the country has to ask for that, and nobody has done that yet). Everyone’s waiting on Spain, which is really dragging its feet. The big problem is now less about debt and more about a horrible growth environment, which doesn’t seem to be getting any better.

4. The US: Housing vs. The Cliff: The debate over the US is really about two completely opposed forces, and trying to figure out which one will win. On the one hand, the bullish housing story is really gathering steam.

Starts are blowing through the roof.

image

Prices are also rising. According to Zillow, home prices just had their best month of price gains in over 7 years, though of course, prices remain pretty far from their peak.

image

And then on the other hand, you have the threat of austerity hanging over the head of the economy in the form of the fiscal cliff.

If current law goes into place, Goldman Sees a drag of 3.5% of GDP occurring. We’d almost certainly go into a recession. A drag will even happen with a “deal” that averts most of the expiring provisions. And ominously, a lot of the provisions that are assumed to expire (in full or in part) fall right on the consumer (the Payroll Tax Cut and the Emergency Unemployment Benefits).

fiscal cliff goldman

As Richard Koo has made clear, austerity is really poisonous in an economy dealing with a deleveraging cycle, which is why it’s disturbing that there’s any austerity at all right now.

Richard Koo slides 9

The Fiscal Cliff has clearly weighed on business sentiment.

A poll of 120 US companies done by Credit Suisse found that 30% said they had postponed investment decisions due to the Fiscal Cliff. That’s consistent with other surveys as well.

Fiscal Cliff

The bullish housing vs. the bearish cliff is the story of the US and arguably the story of the world.

SEE ALSO: This chart shows why we’ll never reform the tax system >

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