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Congress continues back-and-forth over fiscal cliff

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A month. 31 days. That’s what we got ’til the end of the world. Or…not.

The fiscal cliff and its discontents is the subject of this edition of the Weekly Wrap. Sudeep Reddy from the Wall Street Journal and Nela Richardson of Bloomberg Government discuss the back-and-forth between Congress and the White House over the tax cuts and fiscal cliff, and its impact on the markets.

“They’ve been very masterful at really simplifying this deficit reduction talk to taxes and spending,” Richardson says of Congress. “There’s a lot more than that going on that we are not hearing about. And let’s remember that markets are psychological in nature and so all of these press releases do have jarring affects on markets. And what they’re not telling us…. that everything is now on the table and subject to negotiation. That’s what we’re not hearing about, that’s what’s kind of frightening.”

Reddy says it’s good that people are also talking about the debt ceiling. “I think of Congress like Kindergarten; they get graded on behavior, sometimes like you do on Kindergarten,” he says. “The public is looking at this process in Congress and grading them because that is ultimately what could affect consumer confidence and business confidence. And if Congress can’t figure out a way to deal with the most basic functions of government, then they are going to be given a low grade and people will have less confidence about Congress dealing with more significant challenges ahead.”

For more of the discussion, listen to the full audio above.

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