Fiscal Compromise Sets Stage for New Year of Mini-Cliffs

January 1, 2013

My, my, how far lawmakers’ ambitions for the fiscal cliff negotiations have fallen in the past two weeks.

Aiming to pull the country back from the fiscal cliff, the Senate early Tuesday easily approved a measure that would delay automatic budget cuts known as the "sequester" and raise taxes on household income above $450,000. The deal, worked out between the White House and Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, still needs approval by the House.

The measure is a small-bore compromise on a huge array of tax and spending issues that had deadlocked Washington for months. If it passes the House, financial markets will breathe a sigh of relief and the action by politicians could combat a growing perception that they favor ideology over the economy's health.

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