Anyone with money invested in the stock market - and that equates to anyone with mutual funds or a pension or 401(k) - ought to be blowing up the phones of the GOP extremists in the House of Representatives and making it very clear what the consequences will be for them at the polls in 2014 if these members of Congress do not get their heads out of their asses and strike a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff. Locally, readers need to call Randy Forbes, Scott Rigell and Bob Wittman and rip them a new one. All three are extremists who happily prostitute themselves to the Christofascists and Tea Party fanatics. They care NOTHING for average Americans who aren't white, preferably male, evangelical Christians. And all three hold LGBT citizens in open contempt. An article in the Washington Post looks at the likely crash of the stock markets if these bastards do not stop the game playing with peoples lives and financial well being. Here are highlights:
Wall Street is finally waking up to the troubling prospect that lawmakers may not reach a deal to avert the “fiscal cliff” before the new year, with stocks swinging dramatically Thursday in response to news from Capitol Hill.
[W]ith the final days trickling away before the year-end deadline, the markets Thursday experienced their greatest volatility since the summer. It was also the fourth consecutive day of losses on Wall Street.
Investors responded almost instantly to pronouncements from leading lawmakers. Shares plunged in the morning after Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) predicted a deal would be unlikely by Tuesday and, with investors grasping at a straw of hope, bounced back in the afternoon when House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said he would call members back to work Sunday.
Analysts and economists said investors were finally recognizing that a typical last-minute Washington deal could prove elusive and instead lawmakers were gearing up for hand-to-hand combat over the weeks to come. If there’s no deal before Tuesday, taxes would rise for most Americans and deep government spending cuts would begin, dealing the economy a painful blow.
“There’s a realization sinking in,” said Vincent Reinhart, chief U.S. economist at Morgan Stanley. “It’s a learning process. People are beginning to think that the cliff is with us for a while longer.”
Beyond unsettling the markets, the fiscal cliff of automatic tax increases and spending cuts is already beginning to take a bite out of the U.S. economy, which had been showing signs of accelerating growth.
On Thursday, a new report on consumer confidence came in well below the analysts’ expectations, reversing months of steady gains. The Conference Board consumer confidence index plunged to 65.1 from 71.5, most of the drop driven by declining consumer expectations about what the future will hold.
For most Americans, going over the fiscal cliff would mean declining confidence in the economy, rising anxiety and a near-immediate hit to take-home pay as higher taxes take effect. But the unemployed would be especially hard hit. Unless an agreement is reached, many jobless Americans will not be able to apply for unemployment benefits after Saturday, and no more checks will arrive after next week.
As noted before on this blog and elsewhere, today's Republican Party is unfit to govern and needs to be driven to a permanent minority status with so few elected officials that it can no longer play insane games with the lives of working Americans. The GOP truly deserves to become extinct. It has become the political equivalent of a rabid dog and needs to be shot.