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GOP Comes to Its Senses to Avert Fiscal Cliff. Maybe.

Sen. Mitch McConnell asking for help from the White House?

I thought my eyes were deceiving me when I read that the Kentucky Republican asked the White House for some assistance in getting a deal done on so-called “fiscal cliff” negotiations because he had reached an impasse with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Vice President Biden was dispatched to help and by Monday afternoon, President Obama said a deal was “within sight, but it’s not done.”

McConnell, the man who vowed from the beginning of Obama’s first term that his primary mission would be to deny the president a second term, finally seemed to realize that if a deal wasn’t worked out that most Americans would be prepared to put the blame on the Republicans and Congress.

It suddenly became in his interest to pull out an agreement, even at the last minute.

NPR and other news organizations posted regular updates on their websites and through regular tweets. By the end of business on Monday, the House had recessed until noon on Tuesday and it looked as if the Senate wasn’t likely to produce anything the house would be willing to consider before the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

The good news is while we were all primed to look at the Jan. 1 deadline as the political equivalent of the late and little lamented Mayan Calendar doomsday scenario, the fact of the matter was a deal could still be worked out before financial markets opened on Wednesday and even if negotiations dragged on a little longer, whatever got worked out could be made retroactive.

So we hunkered down to wait to fall off the cliff as if it were the ball in Times Square waiting to drop.

And then, about 9 p.m., an agreement was announced.

Under the deal, income taxes would rise significantly for those making $450,000/year or more and unemployment benefits would be extended a year with no strings attached. Republicans gave ground on the spending cuts and agreed to a two-month delay paid for in part with fresh tax revenue, a condition they had resisted, according to The Washington Post, which laid out some of the details of the plan.

For sure there will be more wrangling and neither Republicans nor the Democrats will be completely satisfied.  As I write, there is still a chance that the House, which wasn’t going to look at the deal until Tuesday afternoon, might reject the deal out of hand.

So the fall off the cliff is more like a slide – to the next deadline.

Jackie Jones, a journalist and journalism educator, is director of the career transformation firm Jones Coaching LLC and author of “Taking Care of the Business of You: 7 Days to Getting Your Career on Track.”


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2 thoughts on “GOP Comes to Its Senses to Avert Fiscal Cliff. Maybe.

  1. I wish politicians would stop wasting taxpayers money with these trivial private debates and create a flat tax on all americans. each person should be taxed equally. when politicians play with numbers too much or blame rich people for having too much money, all that happens is rich people find taxbreaks (legitimate or not) to reduce their tax bracket as low as possible anyways so why go through all of that…case in point is warren buffet (don't know if I spelled it right) who makes a bazillion dollars a year and pays as much in taxes as a person who makes $35,000 a year. keep it simple and easy.

  2. Les Redmon says:

    There is something bigger and worse than a "financial cliff" facing this Nation. President Obama is promoting sin which is rebellion against God.
    "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians, chapter 1.
    Homosexuality is a sin and the message of the cross is Christ paying the blood sin sacrifice on the cross, dying on the cross, and raising from the dead to wipe away our sins (past, present, and future sins) and make you acceptable to God the Father. That is the Gospel that you should trust. Do you?
    "The Gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes." Romans, chapter 1.
    "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved." Romans, chapter 10.
    If you don't trust the Gospel you are on your way to God's jail called Hell and you are one of the Perishing. Trust Christ today and become one of the Saved.

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