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Fiscal Cliff Talks Begin Friday November 16...
Interesting developments to come - See what made the cut...

Fiscal Cliff Talks Begin Friday November 16...
“The American people voted for action, not politics as usual. And in that spirit, I have invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week so we can start to build consensus around the challenges that we can only solve together,” President Barack Obama said in a statement at the White House Friday November 9. President Obama’s first policy statement since he won reelection to his second four-year term. Days are numbered until the end of the year when laws set to change at midnight December 31, 2012, end last year’s temporary payroll tax cuts which will result in a 2% tax increase for workers - less take home money - the end of certain tax breaks for businesses, shifts in the alternative minimum tax that would take a larger bite, the end of the tax cuts from 2001-2003, and the beginning of taxes related to President Obama’s health care law. Fiscal cliff is the conundrum that the U.S. government will face January 1, 2013 after the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 are scheduled to go into effect.

U.S. lawmakers have three options, none of which are particularly positive for the country:

They let the current policy scheduled for the beginning of 2013 – which features a number of tax increases and spending cuts that are expected to weigh heavily on growth and possibly drive the economy back into a recession – go into effect. Pro of this options - the deficit, as a percentage of GDP, would be cut in half.

They can cancel some or all of the scheduled tax increases and spending cuts, adding to the deficit and increase the odds that the United States could face a crisis similar to that which is occurring in Europe. More downside to this option - the United States' debt will continue to grow.

They could opt for an approach that would address the budget issues to a limited extent - a more modest impact on growth. The highly partisan nature of the current political environment could make a compromise period, difficult to reach. With Congress stuck in political gridlock, have largely put off the search for a solution rather than seeking to solve the problem directly - they failed to focus on the solution and not the problem. A series of push and pull amidst political lines. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that if Congress takes the middle ground which extends the Bush-era tax cuts but cancelling the automatic spending cuts, the result would be modest growth but no major economic hit.

If the current laws slated for 2013 go into effect, the impact on the economy could be dramatic. A combination of higher taxes and spending cuts would reduce the deficit by an estimated $560 billion and the CBO estimates that policies set to go into effect would cut gross domestic product (GDP) by four percentage points in 2013, sending the economy into a recession due to negative growth. CBO also predicts unemployment would rise by almost a full percentage point, with a loss of nearly two million jobs. With the current frail economic situation, the country isn't prepared for another hard economic hit. Effects are already being felt in the economy. Households and businesses have already begun to change their spending in anticipation of the changes.

The term “cliff” indicates an immediate disaster at the beginning of 2013. The impact would be gradual at first but in long term, could be devastating for the economy. After the deadline, Congress can act to change laws retroactively.

In summary, Congress must address and resolve the issue before, 2012 comes to a close and the days before that, are numbered and closing in fast.


Veterans Day November 11...
The country observes official Veterans day, Sunday November 11 however Monday November 12 is designated as a holiday for Federal employees. We offer this time to solute our military members, present and past, for giving their all so that we Americans can maintain our freedom and security in our beloved, United States of America.

Presidential Proclamation - Veterans Day 2012 by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION


Whether they fought in Salerno or Samarra, Heartbreak Ridge or Helmand, Khe Sanh or the Korengal, our veterans are part of an unbroken chain of men and women who have served our country with honor and distinction. On Veterans Day, we show them our deepest thanks. Their sacrifices have helped secure more than two centuries of American progress, and their legacy affirms that no matter what confronts us or what trials we face, there is no challenge we cannot overcome, and our best days are still ahead.

This year, we marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. We began to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. We welcomed our veterans back home from Iraq, and we continued to wind down operations in Afghanistan. These milestones remind us that, though much has changed since Americans first took up arms to advance freedom's cause, the spirit that moved our forebears is the same spirit that has defined each generation of our service members. Our men and women in uniform have taught us about strength, duty, devotion, resolve -- cornerstones of a commitment to protect and defend that has kept our country safe for over 200 years. In war and in peace, their service has been selfless and their accomplishments have been extraordinary.

Even after our veterans take off the uniform, they never stop serving. Many apply the skills and experience they developed on the battlefield to a life of service here at home. They take on roles in their communities as doctors and police officers, engineers and entrepreneurs, mothers and fathers. As a grateful Nation, it is our task to make that transition possible -- to ensure our returning heroes can share in the opportunities they have given so much to defend. The freedoms we cherish endure because of their service and sacrifice, and our country must strive to honor our veterans by fulfilling our responsibilities to them and upholding the sacred trust we share with all who have served.

On days like this, we are called to reflect on immeasurable burdens that have been borne by so few. We pay tribute to our wounded, our missing, our fallen, and their families -- men and women who have known the true costs of conflict and deserve our deepest respect, now and forever. We also remember that our commitments to those who have served are commitments we must honor not only on Veterans Day, but every day. As we do so, let us reaffirm our promise that when our troops finish their tours of duty, they come home to an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong and our country moving forward.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation's veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2012, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

Monday November 12, 2012


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