QUOTE OF THE DAY
Politico: Senate clears fiscal cliff deal 89-8
Congress lost a mad, New Year’s Eve dash to beat the fiscal cliff deadline, cinching a deal with President Barack Obama to raise taxes on the wealthy and temporarily freeze deep spending cuts but failing to get it through both chambers before midnight.
So over the cliff the country went — though perhaps for only a day or two and, assuming no snags, without incurring the double whammy of another recession and higher unemployment.
Washington Post: Tax hike coming with or without deal
Americans are all but certain to face a broad hike in taxes on Tuesday for the first time in at least two decades, ending a prolonged period of declining taxation that has become a defining characteristic of the American economy.
Forbes: Millionaire Cabbie Reminds Me of U.S.'s Greatness
Sam Fink is a Russian immigrant. He came to the United States with his wife Sonya and two young daughters from the oppressive Soviet Union in 1980 with $1,200, but 33 years later is surely a millionaire. Life is certainly hard for Americans today in the relative sense, but Fink’s story is a reminder of how good we have it, and how nothing is out of our reach if we work hard.
Weekly Standard: The State of Our Political Economy
This is the time that tries economists’ models. It has become the fashion at this time of year for forecasters to opine on the growth of GDP, the level of unemployment, the inflation rate next year—to at least one decimal place. I respect those who consult their models and intuition to come up with forecasts, but have neither the wit nor the courage to attempt such an exercise. Instead, I offer a comment on one aspect of 2013 that is often overlooked: the state of our political economy. The coming year will see a war between politics and economics, between a political class bent on transferring resources from the private to the less productive public sector, and an entrepreneurial class that, uninhibited by policy errors, can power growth at a rate most forecasters do not see in their crystal balls. That war will be waged whatever the result of negotiations, underway as I write, to prevent a leap off the fiscal cliff.
WSJ: Gas Prices Were Higher in 2012 Than Any Other Year
It is now official: the average price of a gallon of gasoline was higher in 2012 than any year on record, according to data from the American Automobile Association, or AAA.
The national average price of for the year was $3.60 a gallon, a significant jump from the previous record of $3.51 set in 2011. While 2008 is famous for a huge summer spike that drove the average above $4 a gallon, price weren’t as consistently high as this year, leaving 2008 in third place overall at $3.25.
USA Today: More than 400 new laws take effect Tuesday
In 2013 in Illinois, motorcyclists will be able to "proceed through a red light if the light fails to change." In Kentucky, releasing feral or wild hogs into the wild will be prohibited. And in Florida, swamp buggies will not legally be considered motor vehicles.