Take Two for December 20, 2012

The fiscal cliff and the art of negotiating

Carolyn Kaster/AP

President Obama, accompanied by House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, speaks to reporters at the White House on Friday during a meeting to discuss the fiscal cliff.

With the 11th hour fast approaching, negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff appear to have stalled. President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner haven't talked since Monday.

But they are trading charges in public, and both accuse the other of not being ready to make a deal. Speaker Boehner has offered what he calls his Plan B, it's a scaled-down deficit reduction package that would stave off automatic tax increases for everyone with annual incomes of less than a million dollars. 

The House has scheduled a vote on the measure for sometime today, but it remains unclear whether there are enough Republican votes to pass it. Even if it does, the vote is largely symbolic. It appears unlikely to pass in the Senate and the President has vowed to veto it.

So, after months of discussion and several weeks of face-to-face negotiations, the President and the Speaker seem unable to come to an agreement.

Joining us to throw a little light on what might be going on behind the scenes is Ed Brodow. He's the author of Negotiation Boot Camp, and teaches corporate executives the art of reaching an agreement. More importantly, he grew up in Brooklyn, so cutting a deal is in his blood.  


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