Next year may be when Americans stop waiting for faster economic growth to make everything better again and finally learn to accept the current modest pace as good enough now and good enough later.More at that top link.
Even if lawmakers reach a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff's full impact, tax rates will still go up for many Americans, and government spending will go down.
Incomes, which have seen little growth during the recovery, are unlikely to start shooting higher. Aging consumers haven't regained their lost net worth and aren't ready to load up on new debt.
"It's a very different economy than what we've seen in the last 20 to 30 years," said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research.
Gross domestic product has expanded at an average rate of just over 2% a year since the recession ended, and many economists expect more of the same in 2013.
That assumes a fiscal cliff deal. But the chances of a pact before year-end are now looking increasingly bleak, and a prolonged standoff could deal another blow to the fragile economy. The U.S. could fall back into recession, the Congressional Budget Office has said.
Even without a "cliff" shock, the National Association for Business Economics, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Monetary Fund all see 2013 growth at or just above 2%.
ITG's Blitz also thinks the U.S. will expand by about 2%, with some positive momentum in housing but not much improvement in consumer spending.
"What the economy is not going to do is accelerate toward the trend path where we were pre-recession," he said. "We're not going to make up that lost ground."
While I think both parties suck, it's definitely the Democrats who're by design seeking to hold the economy back by punishing wealthy high-achievers in the name of social justice. Even far-left hack Jamelle Bouie admits it, "Why Democrats insist on upper-income tax hikes."