Key to fiscal cliff negotiations: Holiday deadline

Is the key to reaching a deal on the fiscal cliff tied to the Christmas holidays? Judging by past experience, the answer is yes. Reuters: "The Congress doesn't work on the clock; it works on the calendar," said Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, who in 15 years of serving in Congress, including leadership jobs, has been through plenty of tough scrapes. "There is just that required moment when something has to happen because you've run out of time," said Blunt. In the meantime, "there is a desire to maximize your negotiating position until you realize you don't have any room any more to negotiate. It almost invariably works that way." With each day that goes by, as the Washington cliché goes, the "smell of the jet fumes" - meaning the airplanes that will carry members of Congress back to their home states for vacations or to foreign destinations on taxpayer dollars - gets stronger and stronger. With December's onset bringing Christmas sharply into focus, the...(Read Full Post)