Good Wednesday to you all. Hope your holidays were happy and cheerful. I, for one, am glad they are over though you wouldn't know it from the advertising. The auto dealers are especially annoying. We have received, on average, four such mailers for the last month. Neither of us are in the market for a new (or new to us) car. I prefer to acknowledge the change of the seasons and all I do for that is change the wreath on the door.
The news readers were enthusiastic and gleeful that the House managed to pass the Senate fiscal cliff bill. Evidently they expect the markets to react with grateful exuberance and post a big gain. The fact that two other continuing 'crises' (sequester and debt limit) have to be dealt with by March 1 was mentioned only in passing. Unfortunately, many of the same actors are returning and we haven't had much constructive action from them in the past. I wonder if the 113th Congress will rival the 112 for intransigent obstruction. However, it seems that the 'middle class' isn't the only beneficiary of the legislation. A number of corporations and industries also get to keep some of their favorite tax breaks. Oh, I forgot--corporations are people too so I guess it makes sense to throw these guys a loaf--too big to be considered a crumb. For more on the preserved corporate welfare see Matt Stoller at Naked Capitalism.
And this story struck a nerve. Isn't it interesting how many loopholes are built into some of our best intentioned laws? I don't think a glitch was involved--it was a feature, and a very lucrative one.
Maha noticed that at the same time we got an inadequate fiscal cliff bill the House also deep-sixed the Hurricane Sandy relief bill. I love her comment: If we lived in a Dickens novel, the GOP would send Tiny Tim to the workhouse without his crutch.