Obama, GOP kick off fiscal cliff negotiations

The irresistible force of a triumphant president who thinks he has a mandate to raise taxes on the rich will meet the immovable object of Republican opposition today as negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff of budget cuts and tax increases gets underway in Washington. CSM: At issue is a combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts set to hit in January ifObama and Congress can't reach a deal. Economists and business leaders warn the combination could send the economy back into recession, and all sides in Washington say they want to avoid going over the cliff. Obama's Republican rivals promise greater flexibility on new tax revenues, but Democrats face pressure from liberal interest groups urging him to take a hard line and avoid cutting big benefit programs like Medicare - the government health care program that primarily benefits the elderly - and food stamps. It's up to Obamato navigate the course toward an agreement. Attending...(Read Full Post)