Thursday, December 20, 2012


So, here’s the scenario, taxes are going up for the most wealthy and potentially most everybody else next year no matter what.  The fiscal cliff and “agreement” worked out by Republicans and Democrats that includes massive spending cuts that nobody wants certainly looks like it will be engaged in 2013. All the recent activity in Washington DC has been directed to come up with an agreement that will balance those increases by engaging them for the wealthiest and limiting them for the middle and lower income individuals. All that, say the Republicans, has to be coupled with spending cuts. We agree.  Both parties offer spending cuts though the Republicans still refuse to allow substantive increases for the wealthy even though increases will go through whatever the outcome of their faux deliberations.

After what appears to be less than cordial individual debate between Republican House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama – Boehner came up with what he called his, “Plan B”.  Boehner’s proposal would extend the tax cuts set to expire for most Americans at year’s end though allowing for increases on income over $1 million dollars, well beyond Obama’s initial $250K or $400K concession. This evening the Republican House narrowly passed a plan that would modify and replace the spending cuts set to commence on January 1st 2013. But that was only window dressing and political theater as the White House already stated they would veto the bill and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had already stated he would not bring it to the Senate floor. At this point the issue appears moot and it would take a miracle to revive any substantive debate.

Some call this a Republican gambit (with an emphasis on ruse) to deflect from their inability to even get their own members to sign on to Boehner’s “Plan B”.  The Republicans have absolutely no leverage and an apparent inability to read the current polls that favor the President’s strategies.

We may be wrong (we hope so) but we offer some advice - hang on gang.  Friday could be a wild and bumpy ride for US stocks and our economy if the stock market takes this vote to heart. We hope they don’t and understand that all this could be solved quickly once we take the dive.

I read a thread tonight from a blogger and thought it summed up the opinion of many and potentially a prediction of things to come for the Republicans and an even more contentious political environment. He/she opined,

“However awkward it may be for the traditional press and nonpartisan analysts to acknowledge, one of the two major parties, the Republican Party, has become an insurgent outlier -- ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.

When one party moves this far from the center of American politics, it is extremely difficult to enact policies responsive to the country's most pressing challenges.”

Difficult, indeed. Right now is certainly appears that we are going over the fiscal cliff being led by Republican lemmings. The US will experience significant negative economic, employment and social consequences.  The world’s financial markets have already reacted, sensing the impending plunge.  Additional relief for the victims of Hurricane Sandy is even being held hostage by the Republicans. The absurdity of the Republican’s mostly philosophical position will certainly weaken the GOP who hoisted on its own petard and further tarnishing their brand; will assure that which they are fighting against - higher taxes for the wealthy. And you know what?  They still don’t even see it…

If you have any assets you want to protect, you probably should have already counseled with your banker and broker.  Tomorrow is December 21, 2012 – Maybe the Maya were right after all… Tomorrow and the next two weeks will be interesting. 


Ned Buxton

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