Will the Democrats Tax the Rich to Avoid the Fiscal Cliff?

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Literally the day after the election a sudden "urgency" gripped the nation: the imminent danger of the so-called "fiscal cliff" -- the national automatic tax increases and spending cuts due in January. The media screamed that the suddenly approaching fiscal cliff would trigger a recession, forcing Democrats and Republicans to consider a "grand bargain" budget deal to avoid disaster. Of course the fiscal cliff was looming throughout the presidential campaign; politicians simply agreed not to talk about it, since they shared -- more or less -- the same very unpopular "grand bargain" solutions: austerity cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other popular social programs.

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