As per CNN:
The 1:05 p.m. ET statement…will serve as an opportunity to address some of the big issues that Washington will tackle in the next few months – including staving off the so-called fiscal cliff…
…the White House Thursday said the statement would address “the action we need to take to keep our economy growing and reduce our deficit.”
Good. I think he needs to get out in front of this ASAP. It’s also very important to note the part about keeping the economy growing. Virtually all the fiscal cliff discussions I’ve had in the past few days–and that’s all folks have been talking about–involve tax and spending changes to reduce the deficit. Tax reform, grand bargain stuff–phrases that I find pretty useless if not misleading–everyone has their own ideas of what they mean, and much of the time what they mean has little to do with reforms or bargains.
We also need short-term stimulative measures in place next year to build on the economic momentum we have and to offset the fiscal drag from whatever parts of the cliff kick in, measures that can help lower the 7.9% unemployment and 14.6% under-employment rates.
Replacing the expiring payroll tax break is particularly important given recent wage trends–see figure showing slowest year-over-year growth on record (nominal) for this hourly wage series. And post-Sandy, rebuilding and strengthening local infrastructure may have more currency now.