Speaker of the House John Boehner has just come out swinging about the coming fiscal cliff and the political discussions about this. Boehner said that no productive steps have been made with the White House and with Democrats. He maintains that while the Republicans have made efforts to put revenue on the table (i.e. higher net taxes) there is a big discrepancy over real spending cuts and that Democrats have yet to get serious about spending cuts. Today’s press briefing is after meeting with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.
Boehner has said that it is time for the President to outline what spending cuts can really be made. He said he is disappointed over the lack of progress made in the last two weeks. Today’s press briefing by Boehner is on the same day that Mitt Romney is having a lunch with President Obama. Boehner said that revenue is on the table but for revenue to really be on the table, it has to come with spending cuts. He called the situation a debt crisis.
While this was not formally a “throwing in the towel” by any measure, it is obvious that the two sides are just not any closer to any real progress. Boehner did say that this is not a walking-away and that discussions would continue.
If you want the proof, the DJIA just went down about 40 points to 12,975 and the S&P 500 Index is now up only 1 point at 1,411 from 1,416 in very short order. Right now the markets (and the economy) are being held hostage by every political press briefing around the Fiscal Cliff.
JON C. OGG