Today's fiscal cliff story from Jonathan Weisman is a recapitulation of yesterday's Republican counteroffer to last week's proposal by Geithner. No new ground is covered. Revenues are raised by jiggering with deductions, though no details are provided as to which deductions would be affected. There is no increase in rates for the top 2%. Cuts would come to all entitlement programs by changing the way the government calculates inflation. In addition, there is an increase in the eligibility age for Medicare.
The GOP's position is weak. In normal circumstances, with a compliant commander in chief in the White House, a group of senators would come together and give the Republicans in the House what they want. This is how the federal government in Washington D.C. works. But contrary to what the Counterpunch Left purports, I don't think Obama is an abject tool of the plutocracy. He would veto any Gang of Six Bowlesian chicanery.
What is gradually formulating in my mind is that Republicans don't actually want any deal. Once we go off the cliff there will be scare headlines and confusion and some fear regarding the reduced paychecks to come; and in such a crisis-type environment they will have more leverage to get what they want than they do now. We'll see.