Over the cliff

has been much speculation that an 11th-hour agreement is likely, given
what going over the cliff would mean for jobs, the economy, investments,
and credit ratings. What one needs to remember is that in Washington
everything is politics. And going over the cliff is very good politics.
Here’s why:

On Jan. 1,
the Bush tax cuts expire and taxes go up for everyone. Subsequently a
bipartisan bill is introduced which cuts taxes for the middle-class
retroactive to Jan. 1. Similar bills are introduced funding critical
parts of the defense budget. All pass with bipartisan support. The
result? Democrats get their increased tax rates for the wealthy.
Republicans are free to campaign on a platform of not voting for a tax
increase, and actually voting for a tax cut for the middle-class. The
“can” with all the really critical issues is again kicked down the road.
In Washington-speak: a win-win.

—Harry Mitchell, Edmond

Harry Mitchell

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