Fiscal-Cliff Talks Going Nowhere Fast

A blog about business and economics.
Dec. 11 2012 3:14 PM

Fiscal-Cliff Talks Going Nowhere Fast

There was some spin yesterday to the effect that the lack of public leaking around the fiscal cliff talks was a sign of progress. Today there's more public talk and it looks like no progress has been made.

John Boehner says he wants the president to publicly espouse spending cuts even though the White House has already done this in both their FY 2013 budget request and their initial memo on the fiscal cliff. Boehner's actual problem is that the administration wants to count the substantial budget cuts already agreed to as constituting a large share of the cuts portion of a medium-term fiscal package. Boehner presumably wants larger cuts, but won't say all that explicitly what it is he wants in part because Republicans are confused about Medicare and in part because he fears his position is unpopular. Mitch McConnell has backed up Boehner and has emphasized that the GOP intends to retain debt ceiling leverage even after the fiscal cliff issue is resolved.

Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi published an op-ed denouncing the idea of raising the eligibility age for Medicare and the Center for American Progress put out a more detailed issue brief on that point to back up CEO Neera Tanden's denouncing of the idea on TV over the weekend. Any deal that agrees to higher taxes is presumably going to lose some Republicans, and the key implication here is that if Obama and Boehner want the House Democratic leadership to whip for votes to make up the gap they'd better not raise that Medicare age.


So all told, we're about exactly where we were on Election Day.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


Frame Game

Hard Knocks

I was hit by a teacher in an East Texas public school. It taught me nothing.

There Are New Abuse Allegations Against Adrian Peterson

After This Merger, One Company Could Control One-Third of the Planet's Beer Sales

John Oliver Pleads for Scotland to Stay With the U.K.

If You’re Outraged by the NFL, Follow This Satirical Blowhard on Twitter


Don’t Expect Adrian Peterson to Go to Prison

In much of America, beating your kids is perfectly legal. 

The Juice

Ford’s Big Gamble

It’s completely transforming America’s best-selling vehicle.

I Tried to Write an Honest Profile of One of Bollywood’s Biggest Stars. It Didn’t Go Well.

Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police

The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 1:51 PM Here’s Why College Women Don’t Take Rape Allegations to the Police
  News & Politics
Sept. 15 2014 8:56 PM The Benghazi Whistleblower Who Might Have Revealed a Massive Scandal on his Poetry Blog
Sept. 15 2014 7:27 PM Could IUDs Be the Next Great Weapon in the Battle Against Poverty?
Sept. 15 2014 4:38 PM What Is Straight Ice Cream?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 15 2014 11:38 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 4  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Listen."
Brow Beat
Sept. 15 2014 8:58 PM Lorde Does an Excellent Cover of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights”
Future Tense
Sept. 15 2014 4:49 PM Cheetah Robot Is Now Wireless and Gallivanting on MIT’s Campus
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 15 2014 11:00 AM The Comet and the Cosmic Beehive
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.