Today is Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year. It follows last week’s Black Friday when shoppers spent an estimated $11.2 billion on holiday sales. Reports show spending this year was down nearly 2 percent from last year, causing some to suggest that economic uncertainty is to blame. And that may indeed be true. New research from Gallup found that households earning more than $90,000 per year have cut back on discretionary spending in recent months. This may be due to concern over new tax rates that would go into effect if the fiscal cliff is not averted by years end. That theory is echoed in a new White House report this morning, which finds that consumers will spend $200 billion less in 2013 if taxes go up next year.
But there are signs that members Congress, who return to the Hill today, may be willing to strike a deal. On the Sunday morning shows, both Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Representative Peter King (R-N.Y.) said in separate interviews that they would be willing to violate Grover Norquist's tax pledge to reach resolution on the fiscal cliff. That follows news of other defections on the tax pledge from last week.
Will our leaders in Washington broker a deal that will prevent us from jumping off the Fiscal Cliff? It's far from certain bipartisan cooperation is back, but there are more encouraging signs than we've seen in a while. We'll discuss the state of the economy, Washington deal-making, and the potential for moderation with guest host Ari Melber today at noon ET on NOW.
Ben White, Chief Economic Correspondent, POLITICO (@morningmoneyben)
Rana Foroohar, Asst. Managing Edtior, TIME (@ranaforoohar)
Jodi Kantor, The New York Times (@jodikantor)
Michael Eric Dyson, Georgetown U./msnbc Political Analyst (@michaeledyson)
Eamon Javers, CNBC (@eamonjavers)
Jameel Jaffer, ACLU