MS: Well, this is a difficult one, because my bet is that…if you negotiate, it will almost certainly come out like this. The tax hikes will be real, and all the spending cuts will be bookkeeping tricks that in the end will mean nothing. On January the 1st, if nothing is done, it’s going to the largest tax increase in American history. This is at a time when the European Union has already slipped back. Europe has already slipped back into recession. So in other words, you would have basically the two halves of the Western world engaging in a kind of synchronized suicide. And it is a big challenge to Republicans, but the last time John Boehner negotiated over this stuff, he got suckered. I think he came out crowing about $12 billion dollars in real cuts. The CBO scored it at $1 billion dollars. And by the time it had all worked its way through the Senate and the bookkeeping tricks had been uncovered, the budget actually went up by $3 or $7 billion, or whatever it was. And that’s always the way it goes. There may be an argument for saying well, you’re right, Mr. President, you won, this is your world, this is your landscape, own it. Own the ruined wasteland over which you will be presiding.And I think there is at this stage an argument for just in a sense saying to the President okay, have it your way. You’re the genius, this is your world, let’s see what happens.
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