Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Will Corporate Bosses Keep Republicans in Line?

The corporate bosses that call the shots in the Republican Party can't have been happy with the debt ceiling shenanigans last year. Rich people do not look kindly on anyone messing with their financial instruments. This year we face the "fiscal cliff". Corporate folks surely do not want economic warfare, which can only hurt them.

Obama should have a lot of leverage to follow through on his pledge to raise taxes on the wealthy. In return he'll probably make concessions on entitlements. That is, if (relative) sanity prevails. If this is how it plays out (a best case, as far as the status quo goes), then this will have a slight depressing effect on the economy next year, as increased taxes for the wealthy will mean less money around to invest in stocks and other assets. 

Here are a few things that could go wrong and make 2013 even worse:

- The temporary payroll tax cuts are allowed to expire.  This is actually likely and will be a significant blow to the economy in 2013.
- Romney gets elected and foolishly cuts government spending.
- Israel and/or U.S. attacks Iran and oil supply is disrupted.
- Obama caves and cuts spending sooner rather than later.
- A faction of Republicans favors economic pain to teach the Dems (another) lesson.  Chaos ensues, as in the debt ceiling negotiations.  To save face, the Republicans insist on some stupid budget cuts.


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