Congress is going to have a miserable weekend, what with the debt ceiling negotiations now called for on Sunday. What's the issue: well, nothing new, really. The GOP is playing financial roulette to hang on to tax breaks, and the Democrats professed shock at President Obama's call for cuts in Social Security. Both parties are pansies. They know--they know--that this fiscal gamesmanship they have played for decades in pursuit of winning elections has come to an end. Many of them may be callow, but they are not as stupid as you might think by watching the posturing that has occurred on television lately. Both entitlements and tax breaks are unsustainable. They now have to drop their usual crowd-pleasing lines (Mitt Romney, we're looking at you--please stop) and actually tell their constituents the reality.
Meanwhile, Warren Buffett had this idea today on CNBC:
You could have corporations like Berkshire Hathaway voluntarily prepay some of the corporate tax they're going to owe in a few months anyway. If you really knew [that a deal was coming] and you just had a one-day gap, or a two-day gap, I mean, we're going to be paying a lot of taxes on Sept.15, and Jan. 15. ... I don't think there would be a problem in getting a number of corporations to prepay a couple of their quarterly payments if they felt they were doing something patriotic and they really felt that the crisis would be over in a few days. That would be something that would be sensible to do.
The Motley Fool notes that "technically, this probably could work...if a few big corporations like Berkshire, Wal-Mart , and AT&T prepaid just one quarterly payment, you could probably keep the Treasury current for a day or two."
That's not particularly comforting, but at least some people are thinking outside of the proverbial box. Meanwhile, for a flashback to how well both parties handle any sort of fiscal reality, let's remember the GOP response to Rep. Paul Ryan's Medicare ideas: