Market Minute Dec 03, 2012

Santa Claus (President Obama) is coming to town. Santa and his elves (U.S. Senators & Representatives) are making a list and checking it twice and gonna find out whose naughty or nice. Let me cut to the chase; it’s the American people that deserve to have their stockings stuffed.

There are 28 days remaining to avert the Fiscal Cliff (tax increases and spending cuts due to take effect in January). The stakes couldn’t be higher. If Pennsylvania Avenue fails to act and get this thing right, here comes the nor’easter, recession that is. Currently the economy is not growing fast enough to absorb the autonomous adjustments legislated last year. In my humble opinion, I’ll venture to say that the White House and Congress will forge a workable agreement in short order. If not, it’s political suicide.

Santa’s bag comprises: entitlement reforms; estate tax revisions; Medicare cuts for seniors; tax hikes for earners >$250k; means tests; a $50 billion infrastructure stimulus program. Some of the suggestions include raising marginal tax rates to 39.6% for the rich, increasing the estate tax from 35% to 45% for estates >$3.5 million, raising Medicare premiums for wealthy recipients, enacting social security eligibility reform and deterring cost-of-living increases, source WSJ. The minute is up, up and away.