Here we are just a few days away from the new year, or as it is known in Washington this year, the "fiscal cliff." If a deal is not struck before Monday night, $500 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts (mostly tax hikes) will go into effect. What have the good folks we elected to manage our national affairs been doing lately to avoid that economically harmful scenario? Nothing.
President Obama flew to Hawaii and went golfing. On Thursday, it was reported that he had spoken to neither House Speaker John Boehner nor Sen. Harry Reid for days. Boehner tried to pass a deal that would make true on Obama's pledge to raise taxes on "millionaires and billionaires. It would have kept the Bush-era tax rates for everyone who earns less than $1 million a year. But some Republicans thought that was too big a pill to swallow.
Harry Reid returned time and time again to the microphones to blame everything on Republicans. Never mind that he sent only one bill designed to embarrass them to the evil House Republicans to vote on.
Americans head into this weekend with hopes for a real economic recovery in the new year. Washington politicians enter it hoping to blame the other side for the inaction that prevents or delays that real recovery. Happy New Year.