Lawmakers eying stop-gap deal for fiscal cliff

It seems obvious that there is not time now to negotiate anything but a rudimentary deal that would extend Middle Class tax cuts into next year while putting off spending cuts. Reuters: A stop-gap that puts everything off for a while but resolves nothing is now the most promising alternative, if there is to be one, to the across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts described as a "fiscal cliff" because they threaten to send the U.S. economy plunging into another recession. It is also the way fiscal showdowns have ended in Washington in recent years. Such a fix, at best, would delay the spending cuts and tax hikes further into 2013 as well as work to address in a long-term way a government budget that has generated deficits exceeding $1 trillion in each of the last four years. Even worse, it would set up a huge fight in January and February over raising the U.S. debt ceiling, which controls the amount of money the federal government can borrow. Dysfunction in...(Read Full Post)