WASHINGTON, December 7, 2012 – House Speaker John Boehner held a presser this morning where he accused President Obama of “slow walking the economy to the edge of the fiscal cliff.” The usual lefty denunciations, of course, came fast and thick, but Boehner was simply speaking the truth—something that’s in critically short supply lately in the Nation’s capital. After the Republicans laid their plan on the table several days ago, the White House response was predictable—offer no plan, no counter-offer, no meaningful budget cuts, shout the slogan “tax the rich,” and denounce the Republicans for destroying everything.
Apparently, no one has told the Administration that the election is over and that the American people expect for Washington to start cleaning up its own mess. Equally apparently, no one has told the Administration that, while they won the White House and retained the Senate, the Republicans again won the House, and handily, which, if nothing else, meant that voters trusted neither party enough to hand the whole government over to one of them as disastrously happened in 2008.
Since the Republicans will be denounced for holding out, denounced for caving, or denounced for doing or not doing anything anyway, we’d say the best strategy is for Boehner to send the House packing for the holidays. He’s already given them a long weekend off. (He himself remains in DC and near a phone that he hopes will ring, though it will not.) What he’d ought to do is simply put out the message that the next House, along with its new members, will reconvene in early January to see if there’s something else on the table from the Democrats besides anti-Republican smears, slanders, and slogans.
The market, at least at the moment (12 noon EST) is taking the nonsense in stride since, statistically, no one is trading anyway. In other news, the unemployment rate is allegedly down, except that it really isn’t (why don’t they mention Bush and Hurricane Sandy when numbers like this are put out?) And consumer confidence seems to have just fallen off its own fiscal cliff, which should be no surprise to anyone.
We’ll close things off early here today because there’s really not much to tell you. Just use positive market moves to lighten up positions. Market-wise, the fiscal cliff—now almost a certainty because the White House wants to destroy the opposition party, not help the economy—may be mostly built-in to current market numbers. But we don’t know that, so cash is becoming king again, particularly when you keep hearing rumors about Syria and sarin gas—which may or may not be true—and realize that a lot of world political mischief tends to happen when markets are closed.
We are living in really stupid times. And frankly, the voters have brought this on themselves. After four years of the most remarkably obtuse, counter-productive, ideological, and outright stupid presidency most of us have ever seen, a majority of us re-enlisted for another four years of the same. Which is precisely what we’re getting now. So it’s best to do what’s necessary for all of us to keep our cash out of the way.
As the Maven used to teach his investment classes years ago, if you run into a market where you can’t make money, the next best thing is not to lose very much. And that’s the situation that exists for all of us today. We’ll have another four years to learn that re-electing the same failures only results in four years of the same. Assuming we’ve still retained the capacity to learn.
In conclusion, our best advice? Just forget everything and take a long weekend for yourself, just like the House.
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