Driving the Day: 12/6/12

Dec 6, 2012

Need to know…

  • White House Prepared to Jump Off "Cliff." Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Wednesday the administration is willing to let the country plummet off the "fiscal cliff" to force Republican concessions on taxes. The administration insists higher tax rates must be a part of any plan to avoid the more than $600 billion in automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled for the end of the year. Geithner also said the administration wants a plan to include an agreement for raising the debt ceiling. Republican Senator Orrin Hatch called Geithner's statements "stunning and irresponsible."
  • Net Benefits from Exporting U.S. Natural Gas. A new report from the Energy Department finds the economic benefits of exporting American natural gas outweigh the risk of higher domestic energy prices. Infrastructure projects required to export natural gas have faced resistance, as the administration frets about energy costs for consumers and industry. The Energy Department report, however, finds exports would not cause domestic prices to rise sharply and the revenue from sales abroad would benefit most Americans.
  • FTA With Europe on the Horizon? The potential for a U.S. free trade agreement (FTA) with Europe is gaining momentum, David Ignatius writes in The Washington Post. The administration says an initiative to establish a trans-Atlantic FTA could be in the cards for the president's second term. A trans-Atlantic agreement would foster commerce and make U.S. products more competitive abroad. This is increasingly important as other countries and competitors are already making strides in establishing international agreements, while the United States has not signed a new FTA since 2011, much to the ire of the U.S. business community.

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