Last year's debt-ceiling debate had Beltway insiders on the edge of their seats—but just like the rest of the US, Howard Kurtz thinks that even those in Washington have little passion for fiscal-cliff negotiations. The fact is that "the country won’t plunge into a recession on Jan. 1 even if taxes go up and spending is slashed," writes Kurtz at the Daily Beast. "A compromise can always be hammered out in the following weeks." And, while some in Washington see signs of progress, Kurtz says that neither party is really "serious" about talks at this point.
Both sides "are in the posturing phase, playing to their bases, and offering virtually nothing to the other side," Kurtz notes. Meanwhile, the Dems appear happy to go over the cliff; higher taxes would mean more leverage for their tax vision. It's all "a faux crisis, artificially created, the handiwork of politicians who could easily undo it with a little bit of compromise." The likely outcome: a "papered-over" last-minute deal. "That’s how Washington works; nothing happens until the clock is winding down and Congress wants to go on vacation." Click for Kurtz's full column.