48 Hours Away From The Cliff: "No [Major] Progress"
Surprise! As we all wait on tenterhooks for tomorrow's messianic 'Meet the Press' appearance, The Hill reports that a Senate aid with knowledge of the talks said late Saturday afternoon there is "no major progress." The rare weekend negotiations continue with the sticking point still taxes - which will come as no surprise to any who read/listened to Ron Paul's clear analysis of the idiocy taking place - but differences on other issues, including spending cuts, linger. Reid has scheduled a Democratic caucus meeting for Sunday afternoon to give his colleagues a chance to weigh in on a potential deal. McConnell has said he would do the same.
"I believe such a proposal could pass both houses with bipartisan majorities – as long as these leaders allow it to come to a vote," Obama said in his weekly address. "If they still want to vote no, and let this tax hike hit the middle class, that’s their prerogative – but they should let everyone vote. That’s the way this is supposed to work."
If the Senate passes the legislation, it would then force the House to take up the bill on the eve of the looming deadline - leaving the 'blame' at the foot of Boehner's Republicans should they not support it. The games continue... but in the meantime, consider what the debate would have looked like (literally) if Elizabeth Halseth was still in the Senate (and yes, we realize how silly this is; just like pretty much everything else).
Elizabeth Halseth was a Republican member of the Nevada Senate from November 2010 until February 2012. Halseth is the youngest woman in Nevada to ever have been elected to the Nevada Legislature.
From her bio:
Halseth was born in Portland, Oregon in 1983, where she was raised by her mother. She graduated from North Salem High School in Salem, Oregon in 2001. She moved to Nevada in 2006. Although she has taken online classes in psychology from Corban University, she does not hold a degree and is currently taking a break. She has indicated she intends to pursue a Master of Business Administration degree in the future.
Halseth married Daniel Halseth in the early 2000s.They have three children named Dana, Jordan, and Sierra. In October 2011, Daniel was arrested on allegations of open and gross lewdness against Halseth. He filed for divorce the following month.
In 2012, Halseth made headlines for submitting a photo of herself to the men's magazine Maxim posed in a bikini for its "Hot 100" online contest.
More of America's youngest ex-senator can be found here.
In other news: Where are we... (Via Armstrong Economics)
The real manipulations of our future continues in Washington. The markets are pausing because as usual the politicians are incapable of ever doing the right thing. Obama is hell bent on following France down the toilet and Boehner is going along for the ride.
House Republicans are hoping Obama may offer to extend the Bush-era tax rates for incomes under $400,000, which is where he was before negotiations blew up. Obama has been pushing for a threshold at $250,000 while Republicans insist that it be set at $500,000. Even France is 1 million Euro. The Republicans are also hell bent on raising taxes because they know there is no money.
Republicans are praying for an extension of the current estate tax, which is a 35 percent rate over a $5 million threshold. Obama wants a 45 percent rate on a $3.5 million threshold. However, even the congressional Democrats are afraid of this one.
Obama wants an extension of unemployment benefits and various tax breaks for businesses and lower-income workers. The Republicans do not want to include the infrastructure funding that Obama has requested to help “stimulate” economic growth, which of course it will not do. The current payroll tax cut is also due to expire, meaning that individuals would see larger withholdings in their paychecks.
If a deal is reached, this would delay sequestration, which if left in place would result in roughly $1 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade since both sides could not agree on what to cut. It would leave the debt ceiling issue unresolved just to keep the drama for the financial markets and the press to sell papers. The Republicans hope to keep this as leverage with the Democrats to secure additional spending cuts and entitlement reforms. Sources on the Hill say this will most likely take place keeping it politics as usual.