Sunday, December 09, 2012


"Fiscal cliff" talk is everywhere and most views are necessarily about generalities.  This is because the details are almost impossible to know.  The NY Times has performed a service by itemizing and publishing some of the details of what is spent these days by the feds.  Who said that "the hell is in the details"?

Economist Robert Frank offers wise counsel to both sides (also in today's NY Times) on how to bargain.  But how about this:

"Both parties could curry favor by embracing proposals to restore money for the programs that voters value most, and the president could delay cuts while Congress was debating those proposals."

Is that really how it works?  Do Frank and the other optimists look at some of the Times' data on where the money goes -- and then dream of some rational process by which it is restored/spent?

I have Sunday-morning TV talk show hangover.  Why not have everyone immerse him/herself in the Times' data, think how we got there and then opine how easily we get out?