Fiscal Cliff

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Buddha12, Apr 19, 2012.

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Will the US go over the Fiscal Cliff?

  1. Yes. There's no way those idiots will actually accomplish anything.

    50.0%
  2. No. Obama and the Republicans will reach some compromise.

    50.0%
  1. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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  3. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well it is certainly interesting, unfortunately interesting is not worth the hurt it will inflict on millions of Americans. Republicans do need to learn that this country is not North Korea where the minority rules. This is a majority rule country and Republicans are the minority. We just had an election.

    It is now abundantly clear that Boehner was not able to lead his House. Who is President Obama supposed to negotiate with if the Republican leadership cannot deliver on their commitments? Boehner’s House created the fiscal cliff, they need to fix it.

    One has to wonder how this will affect the Republican Party. The party appears to be in complete disarray.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    In 2011 we spent 3.6T. We took in 2.3T. That's a difference of 1.3T, which was our deficit in 2011. That graph shows a deficit of $100 trillion.

    You must have gotten it from FOX News.
     
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  7. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

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    And you need to remember that Boehner is not a dictator. Obama offered him nothing. Boehner was ready to cave on a fundamental Republican principle and Obama offered him jack shit in return. How is Boehner supposed to sell that to his fellow Republicans?

    Obama is setting the stage for at least two more years of a federal government that can't even pass a budget much less move on important issues such as immigration reform or crafting a long term solution to the entitlement problem in the hopes he can blame a "do nothing congress" for the sorry state our nation will be in.

    Most if not all of our previous presidents have delt with the opposition party being in control of one or both houses of congress, none have been as terrible at dealing with it as the current occupant of the White House.
    Read the graph again. It is comparing our revenue to our unfunded liabilities, not to the deficit.
     
  8. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Ah, then it's comparing apples to oranges.

    Now redraw that graph and compare deficit per year to income increase per year. Or redraw it to compare total estimated unfunded liabilites for the forseeable future to total estimated additional income for the forseeable future. Then take another look. (You might have to go someplace other than FOX News to fnd it though.)
     
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    What's that smell?

    Oh, quit with the bullpucky.

    The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has just completed a new analysis of John Boehner’s “plan B” fiscal proposal, which would raise taxes only on income over $1 million. The analysis makes it pretty clear just how ludicrous it is for House Republicans to be expecting Obama to agree to it.

    The new analysis sheds fresh light on just how tiny a slice of taxpayers would see a tax hike under Boehner’s plan. It also reveals in new detail just how many households that are very wealthy (but make under $1 million) would actually see their taxes go slightly down.

    The basic findings: Nearly half of households in the top one percent would see a small tax cut under Boehner’s plan. Meanwhile, lower and middle income households would see a tax increase under his plan (more on this later).

    The key table you want to look at is right here. It shows that 48.3 percent of households in the top one percent would see their taxes go down by an average of $240. Those are people who make between $521,000 and $1 million. Only 28 percent of those in the top one percent (the ones with the highest incomes) would see a tax hike, of around $97,000.

    Meanwhile, the analysis finds, despite the fact that Boehner’s plan extends the Bush tax cuts for all income under $1 million, many lower and middle income households would still see their taxes go up. Roberton Williams, a senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center, tells me that this is because Boehner’s plan does not extend several tax cuts that originally passed as part of Obama’s stimulus — one making the child credit more refundable, another expanding the earned income tax credit, and a third increasing tax credits for higher education. This cancels out the extension of the Bush-era rates for many of these taxpayers.

    The upshot: around one fifth of households in the lowest two quintiles (up to $60,000) would see an average tax hike of more than $900. Around 13 percent in the middle quintile (from $64,000 to around $107,000) would see an average tax hike of nearly $800.


    (Sargent)

    Speaker Boehner's "cave", in this case, was crap: Hit the super-wealthy, give the merely wealthy a break, and have the working classes underwrite that break.

    Boehner couldn't sell it to his caucus because the plan asked the super-wealthy to pay more. In income taxes. When most of their income qualifies under capital gains.

    The whole point of this stunt was cynical from the outset:

    This afternoon, Boehner appeared before Capitol Hill cameras, spoke for 52 seconds, demanded that Democrats accept his "Plan B" approach, and walked away. After the Speaker insisted that Obama's offer was insufficiently "balanced" -- it relies on accounting that Republicans have traditionally supported -- Boehner said:

    "Tomorrow the House will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every American -- 99.81 percent of the American people. Then the president will have a decision to make -- he can call on Senate Democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in American history."​

    And with that, Boehner turned on this heel and left. As a practical matter, the Speaker wasn't just walking away from the cameras; he also seemed to be walking away from the entire fiscal talks that he initiated.

    Note, it would have been pretty easy to say, as Obama indicated a couple of hours earlier, that he intends to keep working with the president towards a resolution, and he's encouraged by the recent movement on both sides. Instead, Boehner said Democrats can either accept his latest scheme or accept the blame.

    As a rule, officials only start preemptively trying to avoid responsibility for failure when they expect to get blamed. For that matter, it's also a reliable rule that those saying my-way-or-no-way are not serious about working out an acceptable compromise.


    (Benen)

    Boehner's idea of "tax relief for nearly every American" isn't quite what he said it was. The whole point was to pass a tax bill that had no chance in the Senate, and then complain about Democrats.

    And, of course, here you are, faithful mouthpiece, trying to push the swindle.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Sargent, Greg. "John Boehner, scourge of the wealthy, ctd." The Plum Line. December 19, 2012. WashingtonPost.com. December 21, 2012. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2012/12/19/john-boehner-scourge-of-the-wealthy-ctd/

    Benen, Steve. "Boehner hopes to avoid blame, gives Dems ultimatum". The Maddow Blog. December 19, 2012. MaddowBlog.MSNBC.com. December 21, 2012. http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2...ner-hopes-to-avoid-blame-gives-dems-ultimatum

    See Also:

    Tax Policy Center. "The Permanent Tax Relief for Families and Small Businesses Act of 2012 (Speaker Boehner's Plan B Proposal); Baseline: Current Policy; by Cash Income Percentile, 2013". December 19, 2012. TaxPolicyCenter.org. December 21, 2012. http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/numbers/displayatab.cfm?Docid=3750&DocTypeID=2
     
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    I suppose now, to be consistant, we'll have to call them the "Obama Tax Cuts for the Rich"... By "now" I mean following the theatrics our fascist "Civil Servants" put on for us whittle peeples.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    That depends on what happens. If we pass the proposal, the democrats will call it "the Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts" and the republicans will call it "the GOP Tax Cuts for Everyone." If it fails and the taxes revert, then the democrats will call it "GOP Tax Hike" and the republicans will call it "The Obama Tax."
     
  12. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    Now that is an outright lie. President Obama has gone more than half way, bent over backwards to accommodate Republicans. He did it last year by extending the Bush Tax Cuts for another year. And President Obama has made concessions on Medicare and made spending cuts and revenue increases that are much more aggressive that Republicans wanted. President Obama has gone from exempting 250k from increased income tax rates to 4ook. On the other hand, Boehner went from no income tax rate increases to a slight tax increase on the top .18% of income earners, those earning more than a million dollars a year, and tax increases on the middle class which President Obama has promised not do. And Boehner wasn’t even able to deliver on his own plan.

    Additionally, no one is calling for Boehner to be a dictator. But Boehner is expected to be a credible leader. How can President Obama believe anything Boehner says? Boehner has been consistently unable to deliver on the commitments Boehner made to the president during negotiations, the commitments Boehner freely made in negotiations with the president. And it is not President Obama’s job to lead Boehner’s caucus for him. It’s not President Obama’s job to negotiate for Boehner or sell Boehner’s commitments to his caucus. Boehner is supposed to be a big boy. He supposed to be the leader of the Republican caucus.

    Republicans in the House appear to think this is North Korea, minority rule. Republicans have been steadfastly unwilling to negotiate or compromise on anything. It's their way or the country dies. Someone needs to inform them this is a Democracy where the majority is supposed to rule. And they lost the last election. They lost the plurality of the vote in the House, in the Senate and for the presidency. Perhaps they need to do some remedial study on the Constitution.

    We have not seen this level of miscreant behavior in congress since The Civil War. And it took a civil war to resolve. No prior president, Lincoln exempted, has had to deal with this level of dysfunction in Congress. No prior Congress has threatened the health and wellbeing of the nation (Civil War exempted) as this Congress has done repeatedly. If Republicans continue to insist that in spite of their minority status, everyone else must do exactly what they say when they say it or the nation takes a bullet, then yes the next two years are going to be very difficult.

    Republicans seem to think they can go to Washington and misbehave all day long and blame the president while taking the “get of jail free card” time and time again. That may work for the Republican leadership and their many ditto heads across the land but it doesn’t work for the average American or the average businessman. And that is reflected in any number of recent polling.

    And let's remember, the fiscal cliff is a product of this congress. They created it. And they need to fix it!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  13. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    True or Not True?

    I was visiting someone, and heard a little piece on some news. That if we go over the "cliff". Come january we will be paying 8 dollars, here in the U.S., for MILK! I may have missed a post earlier about this. But $8.00 for MILK! I am surprised I heard that. Did anyone else hear this? Or does anyone know how or more on this "price hike". And how its connected to the Fiscal Cliff....
     
  14. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    Kinda sorta, but not exactly

    It's not exactly true. Well, sort of. That is to say:

    • Milk prices are presently slated to rise soon.

    • This has nothing to do with the fiscal cliff, except that it is possible to forestall this rise by attaching farm legislation to the fiscal negotiations.

    • The potential rise in milk prices derives from conservative opposition to a standard farm bill. The latest version expired in September, and has not yet been renewed.

    The New York Times explains, "The Senate passed a farm bill in July. A House version of the bill made it out of committee, but House leaders have yet to bring its version to the floor."

    — The Associated Press reported this week:

    The problem is serious enough that industry officials are considering fallback options. The likeliest would have Congress passing an extension of current farm law, which would provide a temporary fix.

    But farmers still shudder at the thought of any prospect, even remote, of reverting to an old system under which milk could surge to $6 a gallon.

    The Agricultural Act of 1949 contains the basic provisions for setting milk prices. The act is superseded every time a new farm bill is passed, but if no new bill or extension is passed the old act goes back into effect.

    That law includes a mechanism for guaranteeing a minimum milk price that covers producers’ costs. The government guarantees to buy their milk products at that price, but producers can usually do better selling on the consumer market. But if the old mechanism were applied to current market conditions, the government price could be double the current rate, industry officials say. Farmers would sell their dairy products to the government instead of the private market and store prices would surge. Then prices might collapse as the government eventually sold its dairy stockpiles.
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Associated Press. "As ‘fiscal cliff’ nears, farmers worry a lack of agreement could lead to volatile dairy prices". The Washington Post. December 18, 2012. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/...ray-souza-extension-of-current-farm-farm-bill

    Nixon, Ron. "With Farm Bill Stalled, Consumers May Face Soaring Milk Prices". The New York Times. December 20, 2012. NYTimes.com. December 21, 2012. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/21/us/milk-prices-could-double-as-farm-bill-stalls.html
     
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    The Republican Party may be on the verge of slipping into oblivion; for decades now they have explained their failures with a plethora of excuses. And they are only able to hold what little power they have by using trickery, voter suppression and gerrymandering. But at some point the excuses have to end.

    Contrary to one of their main excuses, their problem is not their ability to communicate their message. They communicate quite clearly, hell they have complete control of the nation’s radio waves and they have an entire cable entertainment complex dedicated to promoting their agenda not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars from special interests groups that allow them to flood the airwaves with commercials. Their problem is not communication but their doctrine – something they have steadfastly denied for decades. Their doctrine flies in the face of empiricism and reality. They deny climate change, they think the Earth is only a few thousand years old, and have some strange notions about rape, not to mention all of the economic nonsense they believe. At some point reality is going to take a nasty bite out of the party.

    Unfortunately for Republicans while their doctrine is good for the media complex that serves the party, it is not consistent with good governance. So unless the doctrine changes Republicans are doomed to failure. The only question is how much damage they will be able to inflict on the nation during their death throes.
     
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

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    36,829
    Funny Creatures

    I wouldn't go so far as to say "oblivion", but they're essentially facing the possibility of a takeover. Sort of a Hostess kind of situation. They're so politically bankrupt at the moment that their clearest path to recovery is to be taken over by a new conservatism.

    And, like so many things, brand label is important. A savvy takeover would no more dump the "Republican" name than a food company would buy the right to Twinkies and then change the product name to Creamy Twinks or Spongy Rod Full o' White Stuff.

    But what does that new conservatism look like? That is the big question.

    I've seen the Democratic Party in some pretty dire straits before, and their rebranding has been to steal Republican thunder. The GOP can do a little bit of the same.

    Under the DLC, which led Bill Clinton to the presidency, Democrats essentially conceded the Reagan economy and tried to turn it to a slightly more liberal benefit than Republicans wanted. And the electoral logic was sound—voodoo economics were popular with voters. Of course, hindsight suggests a little more liberalism in that strategy would have been for the better.

    But Republicans can move back toward a rational political center without as many long-term dangers:

    • Acknowledging that women are people won't destroy American society.

    • Evangelicals could actually stand for something substantially—instead of nominally—Christian.

    • Right-wing capitalists could actually start paying attention to Adam Smith's writings.​

    Those three adjustments would certainly get the GOP back on stable footing while simultaneously benefitting our society.

    The great fear of liberalism is that its cooperative outlook can go too far, reducing people to zombies. This is an industrial-era development.

    The great plague of conservatism is that its competitive outlook is nothing more than bureaucratically suitable language for "cutthroat". This is a problem preceding the Industrial Revolution, Machiavelli, and, as far as anyone can tell, recorded history.

    Indeed, that cutthroat aspect is part of the Republican Party's problem. Rachel Maddow, earlier this month, explained part of this problem. One example is Dick Morris, one of the GOP's most prominent gasbags:

    Matters Media took a look at the FEC filings for Mr. Morris's super PAC which were released last week, and they found something strange. Here -- check out Dick Morris's Web site again. If you get past the gun control nonsense, if you click through to dickmorris.com/advertisingandinformation, you can see there if you would like to send e-mails to the rarefied strata of America who are people who believe things that Dick Morris says, you can pay to newsmax.com between $10 and $35 for each thousand names to get access to and use the Dick Morris e-mail distribution list. It's got about a half million people on the list.

    The minimum order they say is the full list, which means it's wicked expensive to e-mail Dick Morris fans with whatever it is you want to e-mail them about. But if you look at the FEC filings for Dick Morris's super PAC that he was operating, his two largest expenditures in the weeks leading up to the election were a credit card processing company that was handling the logistics of people who wanted to give him money, and also Newsmax.com, where you can rent Dick Morris's e-mail list. And that's where he spent his money marked as fundraising.

    So based on those reports to the FEC, in terms of what he was spending his money on that he was getting from people he was sending these email blast to, the folks at Media Matters surmise that, quote, "A significant proportion of the super PAC's money likely went to renting Dick Morris's own e-mail list, which is operated by Newsmax Media."

    So your money in other words goes to Dick Morris who apparently then pays it to Newsmax to send e-mails, and then Newsmax maybe just pays it back to Dick Morris to pay for the e-mail addresses to which they just sent all of his e-mails.

    Nice work if you can get it, right? What these financial reports seem to indicate is that donations to Dick Morris's Super PAC substantially end up just going to Dick Morris, which he presumably uses to send more e-mails to get more money, which goes to Dick Morris.

    Or FreedomWorks. In the wake of Dick Armey's resignation and eight million dollar golden parachute, details emerged suggesting the astroturf organization is largely a venture for personal profit:

    Politico.com reporting that the other recognizable guy at FreedomWorks besides Dick Armey, a guy named Matt Kibbe, had allegedly used FreedomWorks staff and resources to write his book, even though all the profits from the sale of the book were just going to him, going to Matt Kibbe.

    And so, if you think about it, that means that anybody who was donating to FreedomWorks, for their political organizing work or whatever, anybody donating to FreedomWorks was effectively paying for the staff time and the resources to produce a project that just personally profited one of the people who work there, a scam.

    And all of this isn't just to bang on Republicans. Think about it: Prominent conservatives using conservative media to stir a frenzy so that people send money to various organizations that are essentially a moneygoround for the same prominent conservatives who run them.

    Nor is it just liberals talking about this. Consider Bill Kristol for The Weekly Standard:

    And the conservative movement​—​a bulwark of American strength for the last several decades​—​is in deep disarray. Reading about some conservative organizations and Republican campaigns these days, one is reminded of Eric Hoffer’s remark, “Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” It may be that major parts of American conservatism have become such a racket that a kind of refounding of the movement as a cause is necessary. A reinvigoration of the Republican party also seems desirable, based on a new generation of leaders, perhaps coming​—​as did Ike and Reagan​—​from outside the normal channels.

    The biggest challenge Republicans face, will likely be dealing with the ripple effects of the hardline right wing they've cultivated in state governments. In other words, their Tea Party Problem. The conservative media complex and astroturf racket has stitched together a monster of legendary power, and Republicans can no longer control it.

    "Doctor Stein grows funny creatures; lets them run into the night. They become great politicians, and their time is right." Helloween
    ____________________

    Notes:

    Maddow, Rachel. The Rachel Maddow Show. MSNBC, New York. December 10, 2010. Television. MSNBC.MSN.com. December 21, 2012. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/ns/msnbc_tv-rachel_maddow_show/#50153939

    —Transcript. MSNBC.MSN.com. December 21, 2012. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/50160460/ns/msnbc-rachel_maddow_show/

    Kristol, William. "Footprints on the Sand of Time". The Weekly Standard. Vol. 19, No. 14. December 17, 2012. WeeklyStandard.com. December 21, 2012. http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/footprints-sand-time_665188.html
     
  17. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    Well here’s the dilemma for Republicans, what is good for the Republican entertainment complex is not good for the overall health of the party or the nation. The Republican media complex needs anger; it needs an enemy; it needs to elicit primal emotions to override common sense and reality. It needs consumers of its information. It doesn’t need rational actors. Whereas an effective political party needs rational actors, if a political party attains power it needs to render policies that work, not policies that were made up to spike media consumption. Policies that work are not consistent with the material offered by the Republican entertainment complex. Reality is not consistent with the Republican entertainment complex. If Republican talk radio or Fox News had to confine themselves to the same standards of a CNN, or MSNBC, they wouldn’t be in business for long.

    This incongruity between the interests of the Republican entertainment complex and the interests of a legitimate political party is at the core of the Republican Party problem. The problem is far more complex and deep to be remedied by a simple takeover. And I don’t see how the party extricates itself from the dilemma. The Republican Party is addicted to its media. The Republican Party feels it needs the Republican entertainment complex. But the Republican entertainment complex doesn’t need the Republican Party. When I see a Republican official tell a Limbaugh, Levin, Hannity, or any of the army of Republican entertainers where to stick it and walk away unharmed, that is the day Republican fortunes begin to turnaround.
     
  18. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    4,955
    Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn't reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.

    At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, "I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?"

    "You get nothing," the president said. "I get that for free."

    WSJ: Fiscal Cliff Talks Between Obama, Boehner Broke Down On Monday
     
  19. Aqueous Id flat Earth skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    6,152

    Which will corroborate with the commitments he made during the campaign. He will be telling us that what voters asked for will have been obstructed by Congress. And evidently that will be true.

    I always doubt hearsay about conversations held behind closed doors, especially in situations like this.
     
  20. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

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    20,285
    I'm looking forward to the view while we go over the edge. I heard Washington DC looks lovely at sunset.
     
  21. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

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    22,910
    Well it is impossible to know the veracity or the context of the material presented here. But it is a fact that Republicans have been blaming Obama for everything from A to Z since he was first elected to the presidency some 4 years ago. So this kind of crap is nothing new.

    Two, President Obama’s positions have been very open and transparent. President Obama has yielded repeatedly to Republican demands. On the other hand, it is also very apparent with the rejection of Speaker Boehner’s Plan B that Republicans have yielded absolutely nothing. So if President Obama blames Republicans for the failure, he would not be wrong. It is also readily apparent that the majority of voters side with President Obama’s position as he ran on them and was reelected to office last month.

    And let’s also remember it was the Republican Party that insisted on creating the Fiscal Cliff as part of the deal to approve raising the debt ceiling last year. And as part of the deal, President Obama conceded keeping the Bush II tax cuts in place for another year. This whole Fiscal Cliff issue is a product of the Republican/Tea Party. The Fiscal Cliff was supposed to be an incentive to ensure congress did something this year to restore integrity in the nation’s finances. Congress failed. Republicans walked away from the bargaining table.
     
  22. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    4,955
    Are the Wall Street Journal's standards so questionable? For my part, I hope President Obama told him exactly that. As there has been no agreement reached so far, it certainly seems plausible that events went pretty much as that WSJ piece portrays them.

    Strange - the article indicates that it's behind a paywall, but if you enter "how fiscal cliff talks hit wall" into Google, you'll be taken right to it. But linking to it results in the same link to a paywall.
     
  23. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for the response Mod T.

    I found some fiscal cliff "images".
    Thought I would share some....


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