John Boehner and Barack Obama

As 2012 comes to close, politicians in Washington are still wrangling over a deal to avert the automatic tax increases and spending cuts which make up the “fiscal cliff.” We check in Monday with experts to discuss the latest political and economic developments.

Michael Mandel, chief economist strategist for the Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist Democratic think tank, and former chief economist for Business Week
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, a center-right policy institute in Washington, D.C.
Todd Zwillich, Washington correspondent for Public Radio International's "The Takeaway"

  • Bob Fry

    “Cliff”?? I just don’t see it. No doubt a short-term negative jolt to the economy, but a huge long-term benefit.



  • Chris OConnell

    It would be pretty stupid for Democrats to agree to the $400K threshhold for tax increases instead of the 250 Obama has always insisted on. Come tomorrow, the Democrats will have these tax increases. And those who come within 250-400 will basically have their taxes rise about 1%. That is because the 4% increase will only apply to income over 250. But it does add up to modestly significant revenue.

    Absent a major overhaul like consumption tax, we need to heavily raise taxes on the wealthy like we had from the 50s to 1980. You know, when America was great(er, at least). Maybe 91% like it was under Ike is too high but 50% is not.

  • Chris OConnell

    I don’t think Hotlz-Eakin is the guy to address the oligarchy. Give me a break. He is the employee of the oligarchy.

    • Frank

      On their board is…. Jeb Bush. Ergo they’re voter-suppressing neoconservatives.

  • Frank

    Fiscal cliff means austerity. Simple as that. The rich want the public to pay off the banksters gambling debts.

  • Ellis

    Fiscal Cliff

    What is not in this discussion is
    the $10-20 Trillion stashed offshore by our Super rich and US

    The other issue that is not being
    included is the $5-10 Trillion that Banks and Corporations they are
    just sitting on inside the US Borders

    This indicates what should be
    called a “Capital Strike” by the investor class.

    In other words we’re not broke.
    This money should be clawed back through – a onetime 50% effective
    tax rate and changes made in the tax code to prevent and criminalize
    hiding money offshore.

    Social Security does not add one
    penny to the deficit, and therefore should not even be in this

    Medicare does have a structural
    problem due largely to the Bush Jr. laws that don’t allow it to
    negotiate drug costs – so we pay 10 times or more for drugs than

    The only place where cuts actually
    make sense is the Pentagon. It has never been audited and has a
    budget more than the next top 10 countries combined!

    Etc, etc, etc……. this is class
    warfare and Warren Buffett’s class is winning

    It must be said that our
    politicians who put the American People in this situation and
    threaten to force a default on paying our bills should be called
    traitors and their behavior treasonous. President Obama must and
    should use the 14Th Amendment to pay our bills that have been
    authorized through appropriation bills passed by Congress and signed
    by the President.

    This discussion becomes an
    exercise in extortion of the American People by the 1% worldwide
    with the collusion of these treasonous American Politicians and some
    of our 1%.

  • aestewart

    Congressional (in)action and the media attention we see constitutes nothing but accelerating shock treatment targeting the American public. This is not a “fiscal cliff” but slippery decline which serves only corporate interests and the needs of the rich and super-rich. The social contract in America is on its death bed with the current “tax-trigger” crisis a softening up process for the volatile “debt-ceiling debate” looming next February. Dazed and confused? If you aren’t now, you will be by then.

    Critics who would like to assign the blame on the Whitehouse should be reminded that it is the “representative” arms of the government that are undermining our viability as a nation either by adamantly opposing social programs in preference for the rich who do not require them; or failing to defend the great mass of Americans who are the nation’s majority yet remain dependent on such programs. This no longer just about “defense” over “domestic” spending anymore; it is all about the rights of less than 1% who control the ways, means and production of outrageous profit at the expense of the many. It is time to level the playing field, or retire from the game completely.

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