There has been a lot of reporting on the fact that there isn’t anything to report about the Fiscal Cliff negotiations. John Stanton makes a big deal of this in his almost fun article for BuzzFeed, The Fiscal Cliff Is Boring Washington To Death. Everyone seems to agree that the lack of leaks indicates that the negotiations are at least going fairly well. I have a different theory.
The two sides have decided that they can’t get anything done until next year. The Republicans just can’t allow a vote on supposedly raising taxes. And it’s even worse than that. If they struck a deal on the income tax rates, they would either have to give on the extension of the payroll tax holiday, or they would also be in effect raising payroll taxes. So everything gets a lot easier for Boehner & Co. in 2013.
But there is a wrinkle. The staffs of Obama and Boehner really are meeting all the time. What could they be doing? They could be working on a deal that they will make on January 2nd or 3rd. I really don’t know. What I do know is that Obama gets a better deal in 2013. And I know that Boehner will have a much easier time selling a deal to the Republicans in 2013. (I would be embarrassed if I were a Republican and I had to take a worse deal just to satisfy the idiots in power in my party.)
So I’m still inclined to think that we are going over the Fiscal Cliff. Or maybe I’m just optimistic. Or drunk.