Nothing to Be Proud Of: The Fiscal Cliff

The Economist: January 5th, 2013

Nothing to Be Proud Of: The Fiscal Cliff

Washington, DC

“Barack Obama wrings an 11th-hour deal on taxes from John Boehner and the Republicans, but accomplishes little else…This indeed was a political victory for Mr. Obama.   However, it was a short-term victory.

‘We still have the deficit to be dealt with,’ he said, the understatement of the year…

The deal cuts $737 billion from deficits over the coming decade, primarily though $618 billion of higher taxes on the rich and the resulting intereat savings. But that barely dents the $10 trillion in deficits America was on track to accumulate in that time,  roughly 5% of GNP on current policies, according to the Congressional Budget Office… 

Mr. Obama’s hardball tactics made a grand bargain hard enough; Mr. Boehner’s tenuous hold over his own caucus made it almost impossible.”  

Hardball as opposed to softball describes two types of baseballs, hard and soft, and therefore the baseball games using those balls.  If one plays “hardball” in negotiations, one is playing to win.  

For more information:  Go to www. and look up “hard ball” and “softball” in the baseball section, or simply go to the “alphabetized list” and look up the meanings. 


MEANING 1: as opposed to soft ball, to throw a hard ball
SENTENCE 1: We play hardball in regular baseball. A softer ball is used in softball.

MEANING 2: to play tough,to play to win
SENTENCE 2: Let’s play hardball on this contract. I want to come in at a lower price.



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