Fiscal Cliff Deadline: Congress Will Make A Deal By December 31

There will be a deal on the "fiscal cliff" before the mirror ball falls in New York City on December 31. House and Senate Republican leaders know that the president has them beat on this one. It is time for grace in defeat.  

Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner made certain of that by announcing the U.S. will reach its debt limit of $16.4 trillion on December 31 and not “early in 2013” as previously forecast. You want to light a fire under Congress? Tell them the US Treasury will not be able to borrow money to fund those Social Security checks! 

But the secretary – who apparently is a far better poker player than the president – softened the warning by saying that he could manage for a couple of months – especially if there was more money flowing into the Treasury from higher rates of withholding on wealthy Americans.

The “grand bargain is dead” in Congress. But there is unanimous support for preserving the Bush tax rates for everyone making less than $200,000-$250,000 in a year. 

I am willing to go out on a limb and predict Congress will protect all the tax rates of those making less than $450,000-$500,000. Calculated out, the actual difference between allowing the Bush tax rates to expire at $250,000 or $500,000 is an increase of only $515 on an income of $500,000!

Still, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) must be able to claim he wrung a compromise from the Senate Democrats so that he can deliver the 15 or so Republican Senate votes needed to pass a bill out of the Senate.

Once the House receives the legislation, the bill will pass with most Democrats voting yes and, perhaps, half – on the high side, 60% – of Republicans.

The president can then sign the bill and wing back to Hawaii in time to get in one more round of golf before toasting the New Year. 

This “signing ceremony”/photo-op will only cost the taxpayers an extra $5.8 million over the $4.7 million already budgeted for the presidential vacation.

Just proving that it really is about the spending not the taxing!!

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Joyce Cordi

Joyce Stoer Cordi is the publisher of Reimage America (www.reimagineamerica.org), a blog/podcast that focuses on the Business of Government based her on 30 years experience in enterprise transformation. Its all about strategy, planning and execution. She has touched almost every major business segment in the 21st century economy and worked with a variety of clients ranging from mature, multi-national Fortune 50/500/1000 companies to embryonic start-ups -- improving their bottom-lines by +/- $1B. She has been active in civic affairs, non-partisan and partisan politics since childhood. Joyce walked her first precinct as a Youth for Kennedy, while still in high school. She was a candidate for Congress from California’s 15th Congressional District in 2008. Her campaign urged voters TO FIRE CONGRESS, and, then, elect more business people and fewer lawyers to US Congress and the California State Legislature. A native Californian, Joyce is a long-time proponent of environmental protections – believing that it is not inconsistent for business to be ethical, responsible, and profitable – simultaneously. To learn more about The Business of Government and Joyce's approach to making government smarter, quicker, cheaper and smaller; visit www.reimagineamerica.org

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