It seems obvious that there is not time now to negotiate anything but a rudimentary deal that would extend Middle Class tax cuts into next year while putting off spending cuts.


A stop-gap that puts everything off for a while but resolves nothing is now the most promising alternative, if there is to be one, to the across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts described as a “fiscal cliff” because they threaten to send the U.S. economy plunging into another recession.

It is also the way fiscal showdowns have ended in Washington in recent years.

Such a fix, at best, would delay the spending cuts and tax hikes further into 2013 as well as work to address in a long-term way a government budget that has generated deficits exceeding $1 trillion in each of the last four years.

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