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
U.S. lawmakers have three options, none of which are particularly positive for
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
Presidential Proclamation - Veterans Day 2012 by the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA
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
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