Driving the Day: 11/30/12

Nov 30, 2012

Need to know…

  • Small Business Optimism Drops Post-Election. A November survey from Vistage International Inc. and The Wall Street Journal found a significant drop in optimism compared to the months leading up to the election. The survey’s overall confidence index fell to 83.9 from 95.3 in October, the lowest in the survey’s six-month history. The survey’s index of expected economic conditions shows that 43% of the respondents are anticipating worse U.S. conditions in the next 12 months.
  • Boehner: No Progress on Fiscal Cliff Talks. President Obama made an opening bid in budget talks with Republicans that calls for a $1.6 trillion tax increase, a $50 billion economic-stimulus program and new power to raise the federal debt limit without congressional approval, a broad set of demands Republicans viewed as a step back in talks to avoid looming tax increases and spending cuts. Boehner said he was "disappointed" after a phone call with Obama on Wednesday night and a meeting with Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on Thursday moved the two sides no closer to an agreement to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts that will be triggered at the start of 2013 unless Congress intervenes.
  • Courts Will Hear Challenges to Obama Appointments. In a test of presidential power, federal appeals courts are starting to hear legal challenges to President Obama's decision to bypass the Senate in appointing three members to the National Labor Relations Board. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago will be the first to hear oral arguments today while the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will take it up Wednesday. The courts will determine whether Congress can indefinitely block a president from appointing key administration officials by staying in pro forma sessions. Legal experts say the outcome is uncertain because there is little precedent on the issue.

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