While the U.S. Congress views the convergence of more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set for Jan. 1 as a “fiscal cliff,” the metaphor misses the economic reality of what could follow.
In 2007, when Mitt Romney sat down with the Wall Street Journal editorial board, the candidate for the Republican presidential nomination was eager for the influential paper’s blessing. What he got, instead, was their bemusement.
On the day Muammar Qaddafi died, a French warplane and an American drone attacked the convoy in which he was trying to escape Sirte. He survived with minor wounds. Suppose instead we had successfully blown him to bits. Would Western officials now be calling for an investigation of his death?
Alcatel-Lucent SA, the phone- equipment supplier whose stock is trading near a 23-year low, appointed Chief Financial Officer Paul Tufano to a newly created role of chief operating officer, giving him additional responsibilities in the French company’s turnaround plan.
Without muss or fuss, Congress just voted overwhelmingly to keep the federal spigot open for six more months. There were no shouting matches, no threats of a government shutdown, no hostage-takings. Even some Tea Party lawmakers approved the $1.047 trillion measure.
It’s a shame that France’s two most powerful people, its president and its richest man, were unable to get beyond populist posturing and recrimination as they battled over taxes this week. They may have missed a golden opportunity to find common ground on restoring growth to their country’s beleaguered economy.