Boehner and Obama playing hardball about a fiscal cliff that hardly will have a soft landing

I always see the glass as half full instead of half empty because I know there’s always a nearby bottle to refill the glass.
Which is why I still have a hunch that John Boehner and Barack Obama will not let us plunge off the fiscal cliff as if we’re a bunch of Mexican cliff divers on an old Wide World of Sports program.
Public posture isn’t always private poker.
Waiting to see what unfolds here is worse than waiting for Godot.
These two guys are grumping and glowering enough to make us wonder if we’re cruising for a boulevard of broken dreams.
Boehner declared Friday that “we’re almost nowhere” near a deal to avoid the fast approaching fiscal cliff, lashing out at Obama for insisting on higher taxes for the wealthy without proposing enough spending cuts.
Earlier today in his first campaign-style event to sell his solution on the fiscal cliff, Obama said in the Philadelphia suburb of Hatfield that Republicans should extend existing Bush-era tax rates for households earning $250,000 or less while allowing increases to kick in for the wealthy, emphasizing that a tax increase for middle class families would be like a lump of coal for Christmas.
Lower, middle and upper classes will be eating nothing but lumps of coal if we plunge over the fiscal cliff.
What’s the severe downside?
Going over the cliff would suck more than $600 billion worth of fiscal stimulus out of the economy in 2013.
The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the post-cliff economy would shrink for the first half of the year, at an annualized pace of 1.3 percent. Bad news for an economy that still as relatively comatose as Judge Crater.
But the really bad news comes when our creditors want their money back and we don’t have it.
The amount of debt held by the public has increased from $4.9 trillion in the beginning of 2007 to $11.5 trillion today – from 36 percent of GDP to 75 percent of GDP. That is scarier than Joan Rivers without makeup. And you know how scary she is with makeup.
Our debt is increasing by about $2 billion a day. With interest rates so low, that much debt is not currently a problem. But if interest rates increased just 2 percent, we’d have to pay an additional $230 billion every year in interest costs. If they go up to 5 percent, which would be closer to their historical norm, we’ll be on the hook for half a trillion dollars a year.
The deficit has more ways to hose us than a guy selling Rolexes on a street corner.
That’s when things really become a tinderbox.

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