It’s CliffMas Every Day!

Christmas may come just once a year, but it’s CliffMas every day. At least it seems that way. President Obama returned early from his expensive Hawaiian vacation to get back to work telling Republicans they get nothing in the negotiations. Now the ball is in the Democrats’ court, and it doesn’t look like any deal is going to be made.

Nearly all the major players in the fiscal cliff negotiations are starting to agree on one thing: A deal is virtually impossible before the New Year.

Unlike the bank bailout in 2008, the tax deal in 2010 and the debt ceiling in 2011, the Senate almost certainly won’t swoop in and help sidestep a potential economic calamity, senior officials in both parties predicted on Wednesday.

With the country teetering on this fiscal cliff of deep spending cuts and sharp tax hikes, the philosophical differences, the shortened timetable and the political dynamics appear to be insurmountable hurdles for a bipartisan deal by New Year’s Day. (Read More)

The only reason there’s a shortened timetable is that Obama spent the past two years campaigning. House Republicans passed several bills addressing the fiscal cliff, only to have them shelved in the Senate by Harry Reid.

To make matters worse, the federal government is going to hit the debt ceiling again on New Years Eve. But the folks in the Treasury Department aren’t sweating it.

The Treasury Department is telling its staff not to worry about the “fiscal cliff,” an internal memorandum sent to all employees reveals. The memo, which is signed by the deputy secretary of the treasury, Neal S. Wolin, states that “there is no reason why both sides should not be able to come together” to reach a deal. (Read More)

Merry CliffMas!