Fiscal Cliff Notes
Dems’ Trick May Force GOP’s Hand on Taxes
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 - 11:52am
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House Democrats are readying a complex legislative maneuver to force Republicans into voting on extending the Bush-era tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans. The strategy undermines the majority’s negotiating leverage on continuing all of the tax breaks, and could basically represent a de facto tax hike on the nation's wealthiest 2 percent at the end of the year.

Rep. Tim Walz, D-MN, filed a discharge petition—that’s the parliamentary trick—on Tuesday that needs to gather 218 signatures in order to put the 98 percent bill on the floor. The Senate passed the measure in August.

Under rules on discharge petitions, the vote would not be held until Christmas Eve, but House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-MD, said Democrats are “absolutely” prepared to be there for the vote.

But the maneuver might not be needed, as senior Republican leadership aides revealed that they are already contemplating the vote so that Democrats cannot portray them as being willing to allow taxes to rise on the middle class in order to keep taxes from rising on the rich, The New York Times reports.   -  Read more at The Hill

OBAMA’S WAY OR NO WAY    President Obama met with the Business Roundtable, a DC trade association for the country’s top CEOs, on Wednesday morning. No surprise, he told the audience that he won’t allow the debt ceiling to be used as leverage to renegotiate tax hikes on high income earners, if the GOP signs off on extending the breaks for middle class taxpayers.  -  Read more at Business Insider


FedEx CEO: TAX HIKE WON’T HURT JOBS    FedEx's CEO Fred Smith, a member of the Business Roundtable , said the idea that increasing top marginal rates would damage  job creation is a "mythology."

 "The reality is the vast majority of jobs in the United States are produced by capital investment in equipment and software that's not done by small business. It's done by big business and the so-called 'gazelles,' the emerging companies like the new fracking oil and gas operations," Smith told CNN on Tuesday. "It is capital investment and equipment and software that's the solution to our economic problems, not the marginal tax rates of individuals."  -  Read more at Politico

THE SIMPSON'S MR. BURNS EXPLAINS THE FISCAL CLIFF    In the latest episode of The Simpsons, Mr. Montgomery Burns, the show’s billionaire villain, makes a public service announcement explaining the dangers of the looming fiscal cliff.
"Think of the economy as a car, and the rich man as the driver. If you don't give the rich man all of the money, he will drive you off a cliff. It's common sense," Burns explains at the Springfield Republican Party headquarters, where he continues to wait for Karl Rove to tell him that Mitt Romney has actually won the election.  -  Watch the Simpson's clip here

For more news on the approaching fiscal cliff, follow us on Twitter @Fiscalcliffnote

Washington Correspondent Brianna Ehley, based in D.C., covers Congress, government agencies and spending issues, health care, and tax and economic policy for The Fiscal Times.