So-called negotiations, headlines, and hype are noise. Both sides will choose their time, place, and explanations to announce final deal terms.
December 31/January 1 are fictitious deadlines. Cuts can come any time. They can be made retroactive to yearend. One deadline alone matters.
On March 27, America runs out of money. It's when debt ceiling limit is reached. US law requires Congress authorize borrowing amounts to fund federal programs.
Doing it means raising the ceiling by late March or sooner. Agreement in principle is baked in the cake. Announcement can come anytime before March 27. Expect details to be finalized along the way.
Corporate approval sealed a done deal. Promised tax cuts bought support. Neither side of the isle dares disagree. Pre-holiday headlines conceal more than they reveal.
"Boehner's 'Plan B' Collapses," said the Wall Street Journal . Claiming rebellion in Republican ranks is nonsense. Worse still are hyped fears about tumbling over the fiscal cliff.
Brinksmanship is for show and headlines. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates a 4% GDP hit without agreement by both sides.