The fiscal-cliff melodrama has become one of those bad cable reality shows, a sort of "Real Housewives of New Jersey" without the sincerity though not without the plastic surgery. In the latest episode on Friday, the actors met at the White House in a last-ditch attempt to avert the cliff they had created, and that they all claim would be a catastrophe to jump off, but that they hope they can blame on each other if they do.
On second thought, this script would be laughed right off cable.
It’s impossible to assess any last-minute deal before it is struck. But at this point we know there will be a big tax increase of some kind, which will finance more spending but which won’t come close to helping the economy grow faster or reduce America’s debt. The only question is the extent of the policy damage.