Framework for the Fiscal Cliff Deal

Ezra Klein heard that lawmakers and the White House will have a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff by December 21. Here’s how it’s shaping up:

December 21st, people keep saying. We’ll have a deal by December 21st… Here’s how it could work: The top-income tax cuts expire, as Obama wants. Those cuts only raise about $80 billion in 2013, so they’re a ‘down payment’ on reform. And their cost is that the Democrats identify roughly $80 billion in spending cuts that can be passed into law now — so Republicans also get a ‘down payment’ on the bigger deal. And all this happens in the context of a framework for a larger deal, which includes the promise of tax reform in 2013.

Not bad, but it depends on what those cuts are. Based on what the White House has done in the past, it could be programs that don’t work anymore — possibly some from Defense and others from social spending.

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  • gescove

    Democrats can negotiate from strength. It nonsense to worry about deficits in a recession. The deficit is declining faster now than at any time since WWII. The focus should be on spending – on jobs, on education, on infrastructure, on energy efficiency, on warp-speed everywhere internet capacity, on research and development, on climate change mitigation. Let’s invest in the stuff that actually drives economic expansion. Let’s stop catering to demonstrably false magical thinking about tax cuts, trickle down, entitlement “reform”, and confidence fairies.

    • muselet

      Commie. ;^)

      –alopecia

  • JWheels

    I think the plan for a December 21 deal is moot because we all know the world is going to end that day, clearly they’re punting to the Apocalypse.

    • BuffaloBuckeye

      Mayan Budget Reform.. I like it.

  • rob black

    From Mr. Peirce at Esquire, he is kinder than I, I wanted 50%:

    “Here’s my counter-proposal. No compromise involving those three specific programs. We will get to them later, when everybody stops being so panicked and stupid about everything. No more demonstrations of good faith to soothe the feelings of the people who got their asses kicked all over the country in the last election. The president’s proposal on the Bush tax cuts. A rise in the top rate to 40 percent, just because you raised so goddamn much phony hell about going back to the Clinton-era rates. Take it or leave it. If you leave it, the president will be appearing in your congressional district very soon to explain what you’ve been up to. Compromise can be a good thing. It can be a bad thing. It can never be a goal in and of itself. Power, freely dispensed through a free election, has to count for something, too.”

    Read more: Fiscal Cliff Compromise – The Grand Cynicism Of The Grand Bargain – Esquire http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/fiscal-cliff-compromise-112012#ixzz2CtcVBmMu

    • incredulous72

      Hell, I said raise the top rate to 42 percent.

      Republicans are so willing to take us back to the 1950s’ socially, why not go back to the tax rates of the 1950s’? I’d love to see the look on McConnell’s face if the Dems countered with that idea.

  • D_C_Wilson

    Who’s got the hostage now, Mitch?