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The fiscal cliff has already found at least one victim, the WSJ reports: “half of the nation's 40 biggest publicly traded corporate spenders have announced plans to curtail capital expenditures this year or next”.
Investors and small business owners, the NYT reports, are worried about about things like higher capital gains taxes -- one lawyer says he’s never seen such a “flood of desire and action to transfer a business and cash out”. For big companies, meanwhile, there’s $150 billion worth of corporate tax breaks to fret about.
Tim Geithner, on the other hand, apparently isn’t terribly concerned about the fiscal cliff (or any of austerity’s other “thousand tortured metaphors”): he says a deal is “doable within several weeks”. Politico’s Ben White surveys the negotiations and finds reason to agree with Geithner:
There seems little chance the cliff battle will go near or past the December 31 deadline. Nearly every signal from Republicans suggests they understand they have lost the war over taxes going up on the wealthiest Americans and are just trying to figure out how to get the least objectionable deal that includes real spending cuts and a trigger for tax and entitlement reform.