Speaker Boehner has called on the House to convene on Sunday in yet another last ditch effort to stave off the fiscal cliff. But at this stage of this saga, there isn't a lot of pressure on the Speaker with respect to that public relations aspect, because the media is in the tank. He should be relaxed as he gathers the troops once more. If 30 million plus Americans have to cut checks to cover AMT and two million lose their extended unemployment benefits and millions more find out the IRS isn't prepared to mail out early return checks, they may blame the GOP, but history will see it differently.
"Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?"
I keep seeing these phony surveys that say the rich want to be taxed more, and I say this is plain nonsense. What rich are they talking about? Not the family earning $340,000 or small business with $400,000 in revenue. This whole tax debate based on a notion of "fairness" should be focused on those making $5.0 million plus and even then it's a farce. The government is spending too much money and this administration is creating too many dependants, telling them maybe their children are smart enough for community college, but don't worry free housing, healthcare, food, and cell phones are an American birthright.
Boehner can't beat the media spin, nor should he try. Sure, compromise is part of the game, and considering spending has never been part of these negations, the de facto leader of the GOP has already given in on the most important aspect of this dilemma. Remember, this is all about a country whose government has overspent to the tune of $16.0 trillion and overpromised to the tune of $80.0 trillion (give or take). Why should ordinary people that have busted their asses be shackled with higher taxes? Why are we chaining moderate success and road blocking future success?
"I've paid my dues to make it."
People that are sucking up the least amount of public services are being told their contribution to society isn't good enough - it's not fair. People that have paid their dues; people that work 60 - 80 hours a week, travel all the time, miss birthdays, miss making love to their spouses and miss putting their feet up to watch the game. Sacrifice? People that are at the center of this tax battle face greater health issues related to stress. They face greater chances of divorce. They miss the PTA meetings. What the hell is so unfair about their success?
"I'm not happy when I'm trying to fake it"
So, the House can gather on Sunday, and maybe President Obama will extend an olive branch that allows some members to go against their core principles. The great news is enough aren't happy faking the funk, so either there has to be real concessions, or in the end even the media providing cover will not matter. In fact, Jake Tapper may have been provided the biggest nudge of all asking President Obama where he's been for four years on guns. His core constituents could ask the same question about immigration, climate and Gitmo.
Rest easy Boehner, the ball is out of your court.
Yes, the American public will get caught in this game, and I wonder if getting the rich will be enough to sacrifice everyone else?
It's clear the market is worried, as it should be, although the knee jerk reaction to going over the fiscal cliff would be well ahead of actual damage to the economy. I think it's a mistake to bolt out of everything, and for the moment, the best strategy is to have cash (at least 20%), and be prepared to buy exaggerated dips.