Your daily jolt: White House warns that ‘fiscal cliff’ fears could freeze Christmas spending

As the country’s tryptophan high wears off, the sobering debate over the fiscal cliff begins. From the Associated Press:

White House economists warned Monday that the uncertainty of a potential hike in taxes next year for middle class taxpayers under the looming fiscal cliff could hurt consumer confidence during the crucial holiday shopping season.

In a new report that coincides with Congress’ return after the Thanksgiving holiday, the White House says that if lawmakers don’t halt the automatic increase in taxes for households earning less than $250,000, consumers might even curtail their shopping during the current holiday season.

“As we approach the holiday season, which accounts for close to one-fifth of industry sales, retailers can’t afford the threat of tax increases on middle-class families,” the report says.

The study by President Barack Obama’s National Economic Council and his Council of Economic Advisers also says a sudden increase in taxes for middle-income taxpayers would reduce consumer spending in 2013 by nearly $200 billion, significantly slowing the economic recovery.

Click here to read the report.

***
On separate Sunday TV talk shows, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) sided with U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss when it came to Grover Norquist and his anti-tax pledge. From the Boston Globe:

‘‘I agree with Grover, we shouldn’t raise rates, but I think Grover is wrong when it comes to we can’t cap deductions and buy down debt,’’ Graham said on ABC’s ‘‘This Week.’’

“I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform,’’ Graham said. But he made clear that he remained opposed to raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, something President Obama and congressional Democrats favor….

King, who has also signed the pledge, said he agreed that changing times and a different economic climate justify a new approach. The New York representative said that while he opposes tax increases, he does not advocate taking ‘‘ironclad positions’’ during the negotiations between Democrats and Republicans on the nation’s fiscal issues. ‘‘A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress,’’ King said on NBC’s ‘‘Meet the Press.’’

***
Vocabulary is one measure of how far the debate over federal spending and taxation has progressed. The need to increase federal revenue is now an accepted fact, according to U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Lawrenceville. Via the Gwinnett Post:

“The president has done a great job of convincing America that this ‘fiscal cliff’ is a debate about increasing tax revenue. It’s not — everyone agrees that revenue has to go up. The president has taxpayers that he wants to punish and others that he wants to reward, and that’s bad tax policy,” Woodall said. “While that may be good politics, it is bad policy and Congress will absolutely fight him on it. But when it comes to the need to raise federal revenue from its anemic levels of this recession, we all — Democrats and Republicans — recognize that we need to.”

***
Walter Jones of Morris News Service takes a look at the revolution quietly endorsed by the state utility commission last week:

What happened is the Georgia Public Service Commission voted 3-2 to endorse efforts by a start-up company to overturn a law, the Territorial Act, that has divided the state for four decades into geographic monopolies for 94 utilities run by cities, rural cooperatives and the giant Georgia Power Co.

The upstart, Georgia Solar Utilities Inc., seeks its own monopoly as a generator of solar power with permission to sell to retail customers. Since it can’t produce electricity when the sun isn’t shining, it would always be dependent on other utilities for supplemental power as well as for transmission, billing and customer support.

The commission vote doesn’t guarantee General Assembly agreement, but it does provide a push.

***
In the Washington Post, Doug Blackmon writes of the Republican party’s crumbling Southern Strategy:

Obama won Virginia and Florida and narrowly missed victory in North Carolina. But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter, grabbed 44 percent of the vote in deep-red South Carolina and just under that in Mississippi — despite doing no substantive campaigning in any of those states.

…In the region’s center, clustered along the Mississippi River — where Bill Clinton polled most strongly — the GOP remains largely unchallenged and the voting divide between blacks and whites is deepening. Nearly nine of 10 of white voters in Mississippi, for instance, went for Republican nominee Mitt Romney this year, according to exit polls. About 96 percent of black voters in the state supported Obama.

The pattern is markedly different in the five states that hug the Atlantic coast from Virginia to Florida, which together hold 82 of the South’s 160 electoral votes. A combination of a growing black population, urban expansion, oceanfront development and in-migration from other regions has opened up increasing opportunities for Democrats in those states.

“Georgia is an achievable target for Democrats in 2016,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, a frequent Obama surrogate during the campaign. “What you’re going to see is the Democratic Party making a drive through the geography from Virginia to Florida.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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49 comments Add your comment

Tim

November 26th, 2012
9:13 am

If your President worship Allah”. why worry about Christmas a Christian holiday.

cyunvwyatt

November 26th, 2012
9:16 am

I dont think so I think that Americans are going to follow in the steps of their leaders who have thrown them under the bus. Spend,Spend,Spend ahhh just charge it!

John

November 26th, 2012
9:25 am

The last election was pitted two views of the world against each other, continue the path of tax giveaways to those who can afford to buy congressmen, or tax the wealthy at levels which do not even approach traditional levels. The later view one despite major unemployment. Sen. Graham is proceeding in exactly the same way that Confederate traitors did before the Civil War. He has launched a two prong attack against the administration. On the tax front backing the extension of tax same tax giveaways to the rich that gave us all of out National Debt, on foreign policy using trying to hold the Secretary of State position hostage to the racism and sexism of his party. It is time to invoke the nuclear option, eject Graham, McCain and McConnell and terminate thier pay and pensions.

Bill

November 26th, 2012
9:35 am

So loading up shopping carts with less foreign products is bad? Why is the “test” of our economies health based on the willingness of someone to buy a TV made in another country?

What we need as a nation is a dose of reality, that reality is start manufacturing and selling again.
The buying part we have down pat.

CC

November 26th, 2012
9:37 am

“I will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the country, only if Democrats will do entitlement reform,’’ Graham said.”

Yeah? Well, good luck with that! I don’t see Barack and the boys slowing their spending for anything, and most especially will they not cut spending on their voters!

Woodall has a very firm grasp on this situation.

““Georgia is an achievable target for Democrats in 2016,” said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.”

Was this just a dream you had, or are you smoking that stuff again?

BOOWAH

November 26th, 2012
9:37 am

The only (AND I MEAN ONLY) reason Republicans want entitlement reform is because they want to widen the gap between rich and poor! They could care less about whether the debt is paid down or not! In fact, they could care less about America. If we fail, they simply join their rich friends in the Cayman Islands!

Buzzy

November 26th, 2012
9:43 am

The Congress and the President created the fiscal cliff compromise legislation, and they can repeal it tomorrow if they want to.

The so-called fiscal cliff is a manufactured crisis to try to put things in a fake crisis mode so they can pull the wool of the eyes of all Americans.

We need to slow down this process and we can. By the way, the CLIFF has zero to do with this Christmas. Nothing whatsoever to do with how much people will spend in the stores. The people who have the money will spend big, others will spend less, but they will still have their Christmas.

Wake up Americans and stop letting the political class and the media that feeds off of it pull your leg and jerk your chain. Let’s repeal this sword of Damocles and then take time to fashion a rational budget.

Buzzy

November 26th, 2012
9:52 am

Repeal the fiscal cliff compromise legislation, and then raise the debt ceiling (last we used to do autmotically) and the current manufactured, fake “crisis” goes away.

Then we can sit down and have a rational discussion about the budget.

Please Americans, wake up and see that you are being manipulated and governed by one fake crisis after another.

Oh, and Jim, we will have a Christmas. So no, I’m not buying that threat either. Next thing will hear is the the cliff will cause our toilets to stop working. Silliness.

Henry

November 26th, 2012
9:55 am

Same old crap. Spend more and raise taxes to off set the spending. Why don’t they try real reaL hard to balance the budget like every household in this country does every single week/month of every single year.

spiris333

November 26th, 2012
9:59 am

You’ll find that the re-election of Obama and the impending massive tax program called obamacare, will be the Grinch that stole Christmas and New Years and the next four years. If there is any recovery in the future, it will be in spite of Obama, not because of him. America’s favorite Marxist cannot be trusted to put America first.

jasen

November 26th, 2012
10:01 am

Fiscal cliff is a myth. It is the smoke and mirror behind which is cutting the government expenditures instead of raising an equitable tax to sustain even the current meager level.

sheepdawg

November 26th, 2012
10:05 am

tim, grow up and get an education

sheepdawg

November 26th, 2012
10:06 am

John, this election pitted racists against educated folks, and the racists lost.

CC

November 26th, 2012
10:22 am

sheepdawg@10:06 am:

You bought it . . .

Don't Tread

November 26th, 2012
10:27 am

So the potential tax hike could hurt consumer confidence?

What about the 0bamacare tax hike (that will happen regardless of anything else that happens) and what that will do to consumer confidence? Here’s a hint: take away a minimum of $2000 from the pockets of all consumers (who earn their own money) when consumer spending constitutes 2/3 of the economy. You do the math.

(This doesn’t even touch government spending/debt and the interest that keeps piling up as a result, or the massive student loan problem, or the fact that most people are still upside down in their mortgages, or trade deficits, or lack of a manufacturing base, or record numbers of welfare recipients, or the immigration problem, or…)

roberto

November 26th, 2012
10:29 am

Jamie Foxx at the Soultrain awards. Priceless. Calls Obama “…our Lord and savior.”

A fool leading fools.

The columnist in Pravda, yes, PRAVDA, got it right. Goodbye America.

An observer

November 26th, 2012
10:34 am

This debate is certainly manufactured by politicians and used to confuse the public. First, the economy is weak and is being propped up by federal deficit spending. Ben Bernanke is also propping up the weak economy with massive money printing. Bernanke created the term fiscal cliff to exaggerate the impact on the economy of very minor efforts to reduce the deficit spending that is propping up the economy. The politicians are using the fear of the fiscal cliff to go back on their promises to cut spending and raise taxes. When the deal is cut, we will again be reading articles about how huge the deficits are and how little Congress and the president have done to reduce the deficit. The economy will still be limping along with no reason to believe it will be better in the future. Bernanke will also continue printing money to pay for the deficit with a weakened dollar. The only dim light is that other world economies are also weak so we are all going down together with no other country gaining an advantage

nookly

November 26th, 2012
10:36 am

Bring on the cliff. What Obama is saying, “give me what I demand or I will let the economy crash.” The economy is going to crash anyway. Democrats are not going to sut spending and this nation can no longer afford the taxpayer handouts that democrats give so freely to their base.
We are seeing Obamanomics, meaning failure and that is what America voted for. America has decided they would rather have a welfare check than a paycheck. Keep demanding what other work for and see what happens when the taxpayers refuse to support parasites.

GaBlue

November 26th, 2012
11:27 am

By “entitlement reform,” does Sen. Graham mean that we should finally end billion$ in subsidies to absurdly-profitable big oil companies? I’m on board with that.

honested

November 26th, 2012
11:28 am

Let the ‘cliff’ come and go.

Then let the next Congress settle on reasonable middle class tax cuts and funding reasonable and necessary military expenditures.

Otherwise, we will still pretend that we can run this country on taxing those least able to pay (and with the least to lose in the event of an outright revolt) and spending on the pretense that we have to settle every disagreement (even family feuds) with massive military force.

Marlboro Man

November 26th, 2012
11:38 am

The USA protects millions for Romney and he won’t even tip 15%. Tightwad or parasite ?

Grover Norquist

November 26th, 2012
11:42 am

Good morning America, I am writing to apoligize for my sociopath corporate fascist tendencies that have nearly destroyed America over the last 2 decades, as well as the pledge I was able to foist upon the Republican leaders… They are so weak! At any rate, I have come to my senses, and now believe America must: 1) Reinstate the income and corporate tax rates of 1970. 2) Reinstate Glass Steagal before Wall St completely destroys this great country. 3) Repeal Citizen’s United…. I can’t believe the fools called the U.S. Supreme Court passed this in the first place… A corporation is a person, LMAOROF!!!!!!

You know, if America’s people are willing to fight and die for this great country, then perhaps corporate America should be held to the same ethical, moral, and financial standards to match the committment the majority of Americans gladly bear…. Perhaps a constitutional ammendment limiting corporate executive wages to no more than 25% more than the average employee, since the foundation of profit generated comes from the American worker at the ground level….

And finally…. I am so sorry for revealing the Republican leader’s as the mindless sociopath corporate profiteer’s they truly have become.

roberto

November 26th, 2012
11:51 am

Limiting wages. Get a life, Grover.

Grover Norquist

November 26th, 2012
12:14 pm

Roberto…. Clearly you are unable to comprehend a very simple fact: The American people are the “foundation” of America. Weaken the foundation, as it has been since the 70’s, destroy the country. IF the corporation refuses to protect the American people, the government must step in and protect the people from this domestic corporate threat.

Regarding corporate executive wages. Wages that merely 4 decades ago averaged 20-30 times the average worker. And in that very short duration of time has ballooned to 250 – 350 times the average worker. Combined with Wall St deregulation, it really is no wonder why America’s economy suffers so much….. And remember. The American soldier is willing to die for this country, and leaves no man behind. A criteria that is an honorable business model, refused by dishonorable corporate fascists who choose to extract Amereca’s wealth and hiding profits offshore.

This American “foundation/people” must be protected at all cost, from threats foreign and domestic.

honested

November 26th, 2012
12:22 pm

GN,

Those at the top should be thankful that we Americans are much more tolerant than the French of the 1700’s.

Oscar Knight

November 26th, 2012
12:34 pm

…Why worry about a fiscal cliff, when living in this smoke filled Nation of pitiful dysfunctional zombies ?………Please excuse my lack of opportunism, I’m stuck on stupid on the Democrat Plantation of Clayton County, Georgia. Come on down, and enjoy your visit of our lopsided sad humor…..Don’t place the blame on Obama, place the blame on those that voted for Obama.

td

November 26th, 2012
12:34 pm

Democrat James Carville Says 80% of Democrats Are Politically Clueless

“Ideologies aren’t all that important. What’s important is psychology.

The Democratic constituency is just like a herd of cows. All you have to do is lay out enough silage and they come running. That’s why I became an operative working with Democrats. With Democrats all you have to do is make a lot of noise, lay out the hay, and be ready to use the ole cattle prod in case a few want to bolt the herd.

Eighty percent of the people who call themselves Democrats don’t have a clue as to political reality.
What amazes me is that you could take a group of people who are hard workers and convince them that they should support social programs that were the exact opposite of their own personal convictions. Put a little fear here and there and you can get people to vote any way you want.

The voter is basically dumb and lazy. The reason I became a Democratic operative instead of a Republican was because there were more Democrats that didn’t have a clue than there were Republicans.

Truth is relative. Truth is what you can make the voter believe is the truth. If you’re smart enough, truth is what you make the voter think it is. That’s why I’m a Democrat. I can make the Democratic voters think whatever I want them to.”

http://www.amazon.com/forum/politics?_encoding=UTF8&asin=0452011876&cdForum=Fx1S3QSZRUL93V8&cdPage=1&cdThread=Tx9H4KUBZZYIXT&tag=vglnkc8424-20

td

November 26th, 2012
12:38 pm

Looks like Carville is now saying Romney’s 47% comment was 100% correct.

yuzeyurbrane

November 26th, 2012
12:58 pm

I was surprised by Obama’s strength in Deep South, especially considering almost zero campaign resources expended here. This is clear trend which will only be heightened by (1) continuing Hispanic population growth, and, (2) and death of old white men. It might happen as early as 2016 with right Presidential candidates (appealing one for Dems and TeaParty retard for GOP); maybe a little later if GOP wises up. It will take longer for control of state offices but that will eventually come, too. The Dems just need to see handwriting, too, and modify their appeal to reach emerging groups beside their Black and White Liberal core.

Me

November 26th, 2012
1:13 pm

The messiah will save us from the cliff:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkPa8v5p5mY

td

November 26th, 2012
1:21 pm

yuzeyurbrane

November 26th, 2012
12:58 pm

“I was surprised by Obama’s strength in Deep South”

I was not surprised by the vote in GA. The Dems filed a lawsuit about 2 years ago to force DFCS to offer their clients (DEM voters) voter registration every time the agency made contact with a client.

resno2

November 26th, 2012
1:22 pm

“consumers might even curtail their shopping during the current holiday season.”

Hmmmm… what’s the word I’m looking for? Oh yeah…. DUH!!!!!

honested

November 26th, 2012
1:23 pm

yuzeyurbrane,

And now the republicans (or at least the conserrrrrrrvatives who control everything republican) have apparently decided the ‘hispanic vote’ is more human oriented and therefore not amicable to republican mind control. So, since Hispanic Voters have the good sense to appreciate a reasonable ’safety net’ and appropriate worker protections, the republicans have decided they don’t even want the votes!

What a bunch of nutjobs. When the people (from whom the power flows) disapprove of your strategy, no reason to rethink the strategy, just double down on a losing bet!

WOW

November 26th, 2012
1:37 pm

TD

Followed your link, there is no proof that Carville really said that.

Voter

November 26th, 2012
1:40 pm

Unreal. Government created the deficit. Wants to raise taxes again to pay for their mismanagement. Now worries about ” fiscal cliff” which mainly affects government cuts. Unreal.

Weetamoe

November 26th, 2012
1:43 pm

But the Obama cheerleaders on abccbsnbc have been waxing enthusiastic about how much shoppers were buying on Black Friday. It is much too early for the monthly *unexpected* bad news. Is Obama threatening kids that big bad republicans won’t let Santa get the toys out of layaway?

WOW

November 26th, 2012
1:43 pm

The republican strategy for winning future elections will continue to be suppress the vote.

Voter

November 26th, 2012
1:46 pm

@WOW – you need help. Not just 1 doctor but a whole team.

Voter

November 26th, 2012
1:47 pm

And you want more proof? “The White House is asking Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to be its lead negotiator in deficit-reduction talks with Congress, giving him about a month to help cut a deal before $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts begin in January.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/26/geithner-to-lead-white-house-team-in-deficit-reduction-negotiations/#ixzz2DM8GzNNE

The man who didn’t pay his OWN taxes.

Voter

November 26th, 2012
1:49 pm

More proof? “The assignment is a sharp change in role for Geithner, 51, who, during President Obama’s first term, has largely focused on the country’s financial crisis, banking policy and the European debt crisis, according to The Wall Street Journal.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/26/geithner-to-lead-white-house-team-in-deficit-reduction-negotiations/#ixzz2DM8VfQGz

Voter

November 26th, 2012
1:50 pm

hussein obama’s choice, Timothy Geithner, to help the U.S. economy during his first term. Wow, that worked out great>

Auntie Christ

November 26th, 2012
1:51 pm

I just love td’s analysis. We should all take heed, after all he has never been wrong before in his political analysis, has he. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Just can’t stop laughing!

Buford T. Justice

November 26th, 2012
2:01 pm

Christmas. Nothing but political rhetoric and scare tactics. Go to WalMart and see how much the working & entitlement classes, the lower middle class and the middle middle class are stuffing into their buggies.

Norquist. While I agree that taxes should not be raised, it’s about time some of our members of Congress grew a backbone or replaced their yellow stripe and told Mr. Norquist where to get off. The proposed tax increase on those making more than $250,000 is not going to hurt them or make them less ambitious. However, a corresponding decrease in entitlement benefits would hurt the poor. Perhaps there is a compromise somewhere that does not require the demonization of either the very rich or the very poor.

Democratic Demographics. It’s coming, but 2016 is not the year. 2020 is the year we Republicans will again become a minority party if we continue to find ourselves on the wrong side of social issues. Ask any female Republican in Buckhead and, if they give you an honest answer, they will tell you they were very uncomfortable with the Party’s position on women’s rights.

td

November 26th, 2012
2:23 pm

Auntie Christ

November 26th, 2012
1:51 pm

I just love td’s analysis. We should all take heed, after all he has never been wrong before in his political analysis, has he. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Just can’t stop laughing!

Just like you were right in 2010 saying the Dems would retain control of the HOR’s and Barnes would win Georgia? HAHAHAHAHAHA

Danny O

November 26th, 2012
2:41 pm

Blackmon: “But he also polled as well in Georgia as any Democrat since Jimmy Carter…”

This is incorrect; Clinton won Georgia in 1992.

honested

November 26th, 2012
2:44 pm

td,

2010 was two years ago and I believe many of the American People have decided what a terrible idea it is to give any more power to conserrrrrrrrvatives (whatever they really are).

Let’s repeat your sage-like predictions for this year’s elections.

Voter

November 26th, 2012
2:51 pm

@honested – Agreed – like the current administration has done so much good for Americans.

td

November 26th, 2012
2:54 pm

honested

November 26th, 2012
2:44 pm

td,

2010 was two years ago and I believe many of the American People have decided what a terrible idea it is to give any more power to conserrrrrrrrvatives (whatever they really are).

Let’s repeat your sage-like predictions for this year’s elections.

If that was a true statement then why did the voters of every Congressional district in Ohio and Virginia send all those Republicans back to Congress while at the same time putting Obama back in the WH?

yuzeyurbrane

November 26th, 2012
6:46 pm

td @ 1:21 pm—now, you are not surprised? I seem to recall you posted on more than 1 occasion that Obama would get no more than 42% of the vote in Georgia and I agreed at the time. At least I admit being surprised it ended up being 45%. If your other predictions are as accurate I would say my analysis is correct and the GOP is headed for a bigger surprise.