Fiscal cliff update Dec. 11: Reid says no deal before Christmas

The countdown continues with 20 days to go! “I survived the fiscal cliff” t-shirts may soon become a fad, especially since it appears that Republicans are trying to come to grips with what is becoming the inevitable: tax hikes. This is especially the case when Democratic staffers are quoted as saying, ???We are winning … We don???t have to give up on anything yet,” according to Politico. These are not encouraging words, especially to Hill conservatives who are desperately looking to get some sort of concession on spending from congressional Democrats and an administration which have been anything but compromising.

Another reminder of this comes in the shape of Monday’s speech from President Obama, in which the Campaigner-in-Chief asserted his unwillingness to budge on taxes.

An interesting note: expect more voices to start calling for the nation to go over the fiscal cliff without any compromise in place. This of course has been something proposed on the right — as David Harsanyi presents, here — but it is also gaining some momentum on the left, as seen in this post at The New Republic. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has already stated that the president is willing to go over the cliff in order to avoid giving high-income earners a tax break, so could this be the administration’s strategy? With the drastic automatic spending cuts and tax hikes set to go off Jan. 1, the jolt to the economy could be devastating, but also a much needed wake up call to lawmakers.

CNBC: Reid: ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal Unlikely Before Christmas
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday Democrats aren’t going to make an offer on spending cuts for Republicans and that it will be hard to reach a “fiscal cliff” deal before Christmas.  “Until we hear something from Republicans, there’s nothing to draft,” Reid told reporters in the Capitol, referring to writing legislation to implement a deal.

RedState: Three Tools to Educate an Uninformed Electorate on the Fiscal Cliff
Over several months now, I have been devoting attention to the question of how conservatives can win both policy debates and elections, not by appropriating policies that Democrats advocate and putting a Republican stamp on them, but rather by educating Americans and converting those who don???t already share our perspective to it.  My basic thesis is that we win by getting more people to agree with us (others would have us believe that we win by getting us to agree with more people).

WSJ: Obama-GOP Cliff Talks Take Positive Turn
Budget negotiations between the White House and Republican House Speaker John Boehner have progressed steadily in recent days, people close to the process said, breathing life into talks that appeared to have stalled. Both sides still face sizable differences before any agreement might be reached by the end of the year, and talks could well falter again over such controversial issues as taxes and Medicare before any deal is reached.

WaPo: Where things really stand in the fiscal cliff negotiations
For the White House, the key to any deal is tax revenues ??? delivered at least partly through higher rates ??? and a long-term solution to the debt ceiling. Additionally, any big deal will have to include some stimulus, including an extension of unemployment insurance and either an extension of ??? or more likely, a replacement for ??? the payroll tax cut.

Forbes: Here’s Your Update On The Fiscal Cliff Negotiations: Both Parties Agree That the Other Party’s Proposal Stinks
This is where we stand: On Sunday, President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met at the White House to continue negotiations on the three big issues threatening to send America hurtling over the fiscal cliff: tax revenue, government spending, and the debt ceiling. (Don???t know what the fiscal cliff is? Read here) And in a rare display of bipartisanship, after hours and hours of often contentious debate, the two leaders ultimately agreed to get Chinese food for dinner. On everything that matters? Not so much. Here???s why…

National Journal: Jobs Market Strong, but Fiscal-Cliff Worries Hit Consumers
The jobs market is showing resilience in the face of the year-end fiscal cliff, despite economists’ fears that the mere threat of  tax hikes and spending cuts might cause employers to put the brakes on hiring. Rather than slowing sharply just one month before this dire scenario, government figures released on Friday showed that the labor-market recovery continued its slow, steady pace in November.