This sums it up well – and we’ll see what the next few days brings.
President Obama’s purpose is political, not fiscal
America’s reckless politicians may still take the country over the cliff into an uncertain land where recession looms.
But President Obama has sprung his trap. The Republicans are in a corner – over a barrel – although perilously unaware of their plight. Before the election, during the election and since his victory, he has insisted the rich must pay a little more in taxes. It is a policy that appeals to his party but doesn’t really make much of an economic impact. But its purpose is political, not fiscal.
He has announced his fallback position. If there is no bipartisan deal by the leaders of the Senate, he will get Democrats to introduce a minimalist bill. It would be, Mr Obama said in his weekly address, an “up-or-down vote on a basic package that protects the middle class from an income tax hike, extends vital unemployment insurance for Americans looking for a job, and lays the groundwork for future progress on more economic growth and deficit reduction”.
If Republicans vote it down, they will be directly voting to bring in a tax rise on “ordinary Americans”.
I’ll say it again. Republicans are voting for a tax rise on most people. (…)
(Via BBC News – Home)