The end of the fiscal year is typically a flash point for partisan battles, but not with a 'fiscal cliff' looming after November elections. Even GOP conservatives are accepting higher spending levels, rather than risk a government shutdown.
Evidence is mounting that the economy is taking a hit because Congress can't – or won't – deal with the 'fiscal cliff' looming at year's end. The fight on Capitol Hill last summer over the national debt limit also took an economic toll.
Suddenly, the tough budget reform proposed by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles is getting a second look. Oh, politicians don’t love the real plan, but they are positively enamored of their own self-edited, stripped-down versions.
The idea of the X Tax–a progressive consumption tax designed 25 years ago–generated lots of discussion among tax experts. Whatever you want to label it, there are so few new ideas in tax policy, it never hurts to revisit an old one.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, at a Monitor breakfast Thursday, also reflected on a lesson from his own bruising recall battle: Talk about the problem first, then fix it.