Kind of a stretch by Jonathan Chait writing for New York Magazine, but on the other hand has anyone else done a better job of explaining the so-called fiscal cliff?
The tax deal completes the first piece of a multistage showdown between President Obama and congressional Republicans over the federal budget and the economic recovery. The Obama administration made concessions, but the concessions were small, and it is gloating that it won a larger strategic victory by breaking Republican anti-tax absolutism. Republicans, including anti-tax absolutists themselves, mostly believe they got through the first and most unfavorable stage as intact as could be. (Grover Norquist: “We’re in this impossible, upside-down position, where if you do nothing, taxes go up. That’s what we got saved from. That goes away now.”)
In gaming out the next, and much more dangerous, stages, the crucial question is, which side is right? I believe Republicans are.