Fiscal Policy in the News
Dropping the Puck – The NHL season is finally underway, and it only took the Washington Capitals five games to get a win. Things are similarly getting off to a slow start with the new session of Congress. Negotiations over filibuster reform officially kept the Senate in its first day until the matter was resolved last week.
New Term of Office, New Terms of Debate? – President Obama kicked-off his second term on Monday with the official inauguration ceremonies in Washington, DC. Amid the balls, parade, alleged lip-syncing of the national anthem and eye-rolls, President Obama gave an inaugural address setting the tone for the next four years.
In a New York Times op-ed the other day, Paul Krugman argues that the urgency and significance of the debate over the federal budget deficit are overstated.
Golden Moment – The Golden Globe Awards were held over the weekend. Many view the awards as a prelude to the Academy Awards, although the Golden Globes provides dinner, so that puts them a leg up in our book. Similarly, the fiscal cliff can be seen as the run-up to the debt ceiling drama now beginning to unfold. The economic stakes are definitely higher with the debt limit. Failing to raise the limit would cause the U.S. to default on some of its obligations.
Monday Morning Quarterbacking – The Washington Redskins stayed in playoff contention Sunday with back-up quarterback Kirk Cousins leading the team to victory. As DC basks in the glow of being in the division lead, there is also concern that it is behind in averting the fiscal cliff. With the end-of-year deadline just two weeks away, more of the discussion is turning to what the back-up plan is. While there is plenty of armchair quarterbacking going on, no one has yet taken command of the situation to lead the way to a solution.
Crunch Time – The Washington Redskins kept their playoff hopes alive with a come-from-behind victory in sudden-death overtime over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. Policymakers in Washington also look to be headed into overtime as the fiscal cliff negations almost certainly will cause the House of Representatives to go beyond its original target adjournment date of December 14.
Blue Christmas? – December can be a depressing time for many. Shorter days and the stress of the holidays affect many of us. Unfortunately, the news out of Washington won’t give any cause to perk up. Following fiscal cliff developments lately has been more depressing than watching the Washington Wizards play. Little progress has been made and earlier projections that a deal could be reached before Christmas now appear sanguine. With each passing day an 11th hour deal looks to be the best case scenario for avoiding the fiscal cliff.
Putting the Turkeys Behind Us – We hope everyone had a good holiday weekend! As we all recover from the annual turkey-induced coma, we are especially thankful for our growing network of supporters who are demanding fiscal responsibility of their leaders. That message is especially important as lawmakers return this week to address unfinished business such as the fiscal cliff and possibly an appropriations package for the rest of the fiscal year.
Racing to the Cliff – The NASCAR season ended on Sunday with Brad Keselowski claiming his first Sprint Cup championship. But fans of seeing things going around in circles can get their fix by watching the action in Washington. Congress is not in session this week for a Thanksgiving pit stop, but the posturing for position continues regarding the looming fiscal cliff. The thing about this race is that it isn’t clear how many laps it will go.