The Two-Way
8:51 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Three 'Should Read Stories' About The 'Fiscal Cliff'

  • Mara Liasson, on 'Morning Edition'
  • Renee Montagne and Tamara Keith, on 'Morning Edition'

The back-and-forth continues between the White House and Republican leaders in Congress about how to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff that arrives at midnight Dec. 31 — when Bush-era tax cuts are set to expire and automatic spending cuts are set to begin.

The big news Monday was the "counteroffer" put forward by House Republicans.

We continue to watch for helpful stories about what's going on. We won't say they're "must" reads. Just "shoulds," for those looking to keep up on things. Here are a few more:

-- "Fiscal Cliff Talks At Stalemate Over Dueling Tax Plans." BloombergBusinessweek begins its coverage by writing that "negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff are stalled as President Barack Obama and Republicans trade offers on ways to avoid more than $600 billion in U.S. spending cuts and tax increases for 2013 that will start to take effect in January if Congress doesn't act."

-- "Boehner Backlash Begins On Right Over Fiscal Cliff." National Journal says "the far right is launching its own attacks against Speaker John Boehner's "fiscal cliff" counter proposal — a sign that unrest could be brewing within his House GOP Conference."

-- "The Huge (And Rarely Discussed) Health Insurance Tax Break." Over at the Shots blog, NPR's Julie Rovner writes that "dollar for dollar, the most tax revenue the federal government forgoes every year is from not taxing the value of health insurance that employers provide their workers. Yet most people don't even realize that they don't pay taxes on the value of those health benefits. That's too bad, says MIT health economist Jonathan Gruber, because it represents a whole lot of money."

Bonus tracks:

-- "Obama Changes Tack With Congressional Republicans." (NPR's Mara Liasson, on Morning Edition)

-- "White House Rejects GOP's Counteroffer." (NPR's Renee Montagne and Tamara Keith, also on Morning Edition)

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.