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BA Spending Daily November 8, 2012



Spending Daily | November 8, 2012

New Video: What was this election about?
Bankrupting America took to the streets to ask voters why they voted and what they want to see from Washington in the next four years.  With unemployment at 7.9 percent, our national debt over $16 trillion and the fiscal cliff looming at the end of the year, there’s a lot to be concerned about.  Click here to watch the video.

Shot: Biden Promises Fiscal Cliff Compromise
The Associated Press reports, “Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he and President Barack Obama are anxious to move forward on a bipartisan solution to the looming ‘fiscal cliff’ that could force tax increases and across-the-board spending  cuts next year. The real question is what Republicans in Congress will do, Biden said. Democrats will keep control of the White House and the Senate, while Republicans will stay in charge of the House. … ‘I know it takes a little time to kind of digest what’s going on. But I think people know we’ve got to get down to work and I think they’re ready to move,’ Biden said.” He also said he “believes there are at least six Republican senators who are prepared to compromise on fiscal issues, adding that Democrats ‘are going to have to compromise too. It’s not like we’re going to go in and say: This is our deal. Take it or leave it.’”

Chaser: Biden Claims Election Gives Tax Hike Mandate
The Huffington Post reports, “Vice President Joe Biden, speaking to reporters the day after the election, said the Obama administration has a mandate on the issue of tax policy heading into the next critical weeks. ‘You guys have probably looked at the internals of the vote more than I have so far,’ Biden said, according to a transcript provided by pool reporters. ‘But from what it appears is that, on the issue of the tax issue, there was a clear, a clear sort of mandate about people coming much closer to our view about how to deal with tax policy.’ What this means in legislative terms was unclear. Biden said he thought corporate tax reform may come quickly, as both parties agree that lowering the overall rate while closing loopholes and ending reductions constitutes common-sense reform. But on the big debates -– what to do about the expiring Bush tax cut and the forthcoming $1 trillion in automatic spendingcuts — the vice president left lingering questions unanswered.”

Obama, Congressional Leaders Talk Lame Duck
According to the Associated Press, “Taking little time to celebrate, President Barack Obama is setting out to leverage his re-election into legislative success in an upcoming showdown with congressional Republicans over taxes, deficits and the impending ‘fiscal cliff.’ House Speaker John Boehner says Republicans are willing to consider some form of higher tax revenue as part of the solution – but only ‘under the right conditions.’ … Even before returning to Washington from his hometown of Chicago, Obama was on the phone Wednesday with the four top leaders of the House and Senate – Boehner included – to talk about the lame-duck Congress that convenes just one week after Election Day.”

Federal Reserve’s ‘Easy-Money Policies’ to Continue
The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Barack Obama’s election-night victory means the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policies  are likely to continue until the economy strengthens significantly. The central bank has said it expects to keep short-term interest rates near zero at least until mid-2015 and Mr. Obama is unlikely to want to change that. Though presidents can’t influence the politically independent central bank directly, they do shape its decisions by making appointments to the Fed’s seven-member board, subject to Senate confirmation.”  Read More

Election Over, But Uncertainty Looms
Reuters reports, “The election results were clear, but the path forward is not. With Washington moving on with essentially the same trilateral team that froze fiscal policy for the last two years, it’s not obvious or certain what will happen to taxes, interest rates, markets and the economy under President Barack Obama, the Democrat-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. ‘We still live with uncertainty on this that puts us all in planning-land dilemma,’ says Greg Rosica, a tax partner with Ernst & Young.”

Washington Showing Signs of Compromise
The Washington Post reports, “Less than 24 hours after the election, President Obama and congressional leaders moved with alacrity Wednesday to show flexibility in solving the nation’s biggest economic problems and recast Washington’s often divisive politics. With a sluggish economy facing major threats, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) opened the door to increased tax revenue as part of a bipartisan deal to tame the soaring national debt. Republicans are ‘willing to accept new revenues,’ Boehner said, suggesting he is willing to break with the orthodoxy of many influential Republicans out of a desire to ‘do what’s best for our country.'”

Greece Awaiting Next Batch of Bailout Cash
The Associated Press reports, “Greece’s euro partners are unlikely to sign off the release of the country’s next batch of bailout cash at a meeting next week, even though its Parliament narrowly backed more unpopular austerity measures early Thursday. … The approval of the austerity bill early Thursday, which will further cut salaries and pensions and increase taxes, was a key step towards persuading Greece’s international creditors to release the next (EURO)31.5 billion ($40.15 billion) installment of the country’s vital bailout loans. Without it, the government has said the country will start running out of cash Nov. 16.”

Greek Gov’t Approves Austerity Measures Amid Protests
Reuters reports, “Greece’s government voted by a razor thin margin on Thursday to approve an austerity package needed to unlock vital aid and avert bankruptcy, despite an internal rift and violent protests at the gates of parliament. Lawmakers approved the spending cuts, tax hikes and measures making it easier to hire and fire workers after nearly 100,000 Greeks waving flags and chanting ‘Fight! They’re drinking our blood!’ descended on Syntagma Square in central Athens.”

“EU Slashes Growth Forecasts”
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Europe’s official economists cut their growth outlook for the region on Wednesday amid turmoil spawned by the euro-zone debt crisis, forecasting deeper recessions in austerity-battered nations and lower growth in France and even Germany. The report from economists at the European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, depicts an economy with few bright spots. High and rising unemployment will drag on consumer purchasing power, as will government budget cuts aimed at  mending ragged public finances.”

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