QUOTE OF THE DAY
Washington Post: All the fiscal cliff offers and counteroffers in one handy chart
It can get a bit tough to follow President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner’s back-and-forth debt deal negotiations, so we thought we’d put together a simple chart to explain how the two sides’ positions have evolved as the talks have progressed.
US News: South Carolina Lawmakers Propose 5-Year Jail Sentence for 'Obamacare' Implementation
Nullification is yet again picking up steam in Dixie.
Pursuing an archaic legal theory that punctuated pre-Civil War disputes between the federal government and states, South Carolina state Rep. Bill Chumley last week pre-filed a bill for the upcoming legislative session that would criminalize implementation of President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare reform law.
If his bill becomes law, any state official caught enforcing the healthcare law would be guilty of a misdemeanor and "must be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than two years, or both."
Reason: Will ObamaCare's Health Exchanges Be Ready on Schedule?
When ObamaCare became law, virtually everyone believed that every state would create its own health insurance exchange. That didn't quite work out. As of last week, only 17 states plus the District of Columbia had officially declared that they would take full responsibility for creating their own exchanges. At least 16 states have entirely opted out, leaving the federal government to build and run the exchange instead; others have chosen a partnership model that still leaves much of the responsibility to the federal government. As a result, implementation will proceed along two fronts: the state level in some case and the federal level in others. And there are real questions about whether the exchanges will be built on time in either case.
New York Times: $8 a gallon milk
Forget the fiscal crisis and the automatic budget cuts. Come Jan. 1, there is a threat that milk prices could rise to $6 to $8 a gallon if Congress does not pass a new farm bill that amends farm policy dating back to the Truman presidency.
Lost in the political standoff between the Obama administration and Congressional Republicans over the budget is a virtually forgotten impasse over a farm bill that covers billions of dollars in agriculture programs. Without last-minute Congressional action, the government would have to follow an antiquated 1949 farm law that would force Washington to buy milk at wildly inflated prices, creating higher prices in the dairy case. Milk now costs an average of $3.65 a gallon.
Higher prices would be based on what dairy farm production costs were in 1949, when milk production was almost all done by hand. Because of adjustments for inflation and other technical formulas, the government would be forced by law to buy milk at roughly twice the current market prices to maintain a stable milk market.
Bloomberg: Boehner Drops 'Plan B'
House Speaker John Boehner scrapped a plan to allow higher tax rates on annual income above $1 million, yielding to anti-tax resistance within his own party and throwing already-stalled budget talks deeper into turmoil.
AEI: The 7 most illuminating economic charts of 2012
Magnificent Seven economic charts for 2012 from unemployment to debt to inequality.