Friday/ the Fiscal Cliff

Vote (Obama) poster seen here in the city in Seattle.

These page size posters are still up on lamp posts and public message boards here in Seattle. (Vote – as long as you vote Obama? For an excellent analysis of the 2012 election results, check out http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president).   So now the ‘fiscal cliff’ is approaching as we race toward the end of the year (never mind the Mayan calendar that predicts the end of the world on Dec 21!).  Several tax breaks expire, and some new ones are kicking in.  For the newly-elected President : to make a deal or not with the intransigent Republicans?  In particular, they want the Bush tax cuts of 2001 that will expire the end of this year, to be extended for the wealthy even though there is a yawning deficit between the government’s income and expenditures.  Well. Let’s not make a deal, says economist Paul Krugman – http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/09/opinion/krugman-lets-not-make-a-deal.html.

[From the New York Times]. One might think that the election was close, and the popular vote was (Obama only won by a few percent). However, this graph shows that the Democrats won by large margins in the big cities – almost 70-30. Latinos and Asian Americans voted against the Republicans by that same margin.
Here are numbers for the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ from the Wall Street Journal. Reserve Bank chairman Ben Bernanke coined the term in February of this year. It is more a ‘slope’ than a cliff, though. The impact of the changes that go into effect on Dec 31 will not be felt in one big downdraft, but gradually affect the US economy over the course of 2013.

 

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