Senate aide on fiscal cliff: ‘It’s hard to overstate how little is going on’

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Jamie Weinstein
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      Jamie Weinstein

      Jamie Weinstein is Senior Editor of The Daily Caller. His work has appeared in The Weekly Standard, the New York Daily News and The Washington Examiner, among many other publications. He also worked as the Collegiate Network Journalism Fellow at Roll Call Newspaper and is the winner of the 2011 "Funniest Celebrity in Washington" contest. A regular on Fox News and other cable news outlets, Weinstein received a master’s degree in the history of international relations from the London School of Economics in 2009 and a bachelor's degree in history and government from Cornell University in 2006. He is the author of the political satire, "The Lizard King: The Shocking Inside Account of Obama's True Intergalactic Ambitions by an Anonymous White House Staffer."

Meanwhile, agencies slated to be affected by the fiscal cliff are reportedly not planning on making any major changes as of yet, according to the Huffington Post.

According to the report by the liberal media outlet, the affected agencies believe that negotiations between Congress and the White House will continue after the New Year — if a deal is not reached before the so-called cliff — until a deal is ultimately reached.

For instance, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently announced that the Pentagon planned no major layoffs, the Huffington Post reported.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu issued a similar statement.

“I do not expect our day-to-day operations to change dramatically on or immediately after January 2, should sequestration occur,” Chu wrote in an email to his staff, according to the Huffington Post. “This means that we will not be executing any immediate personnel actions, such as furloughs, on that date.”

But while government agencies may be taking the prospect of going over the fiscal cliff in such a blasé manner, it is unclear how financial markets would react.

“The truth of the matter is, if we do fall off the cliff after the president is inaugurated, he’ll come back, propose just what he proposed yesterday in leaving Washington, and we’ll end up adopting it,” Georgia Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday. “But why should we put the markets in such turmoil and the people in such misunderstanding or lack of confidence?”

President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong, Dr. Richard Vuylsteke, told The Daily Caller last month that a failure to come to a deal would also hurt the confidence of those around the world in the United States.

“We can’t afford to fall off this cliff,” he said. “If we do, I mean, the ripple effect — immediately it’s a big splash to begin with — but its ripple effect long-term is it’s going to really impact confidence from abroad [of] the United States.”

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