This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Fiscal Snooze

Unfortunately, our elected representatives in Washington, D.C. have displayed a proclivity for avoiding anything that is reasonable like the plague. Hopefully, the election has brought them to their senses, but I'm not holding my breath. At the very least, though, I expect some sort of deal will be reached that avoids "The Fiscal Cliff" -- at least one that pushes off any real decisions to the next arbitrary and toothless deadline.

In the meantime, how about that buying opportunity? When the stock market bottomed during last year's deficit histrionics, the S&P 500 was down around 1,100. We're now above 1,379. Shares of Apple (AAPL) were below $400. They're now trading above $547 -- even after a recent rout. Shares of Google (GOOG) went below $500. They're now trading over $663, and the Internet search giant has also struggled of late.

I'm not saying this performance is going to be repeated during this installment of federal deficit negotiations, although it's certainly possible. I just want to put all this hullabaloo in perspective. There's a tendency for people to feel like the sky is falling during these episodes as tempers flare and markets gyrate. It's important, if you're making investment decisions, to be able to see beyond the headlines.

The basic problem that we're facing as a country is simple: we have a debt problem, but at the same time, we have an economy problem. Fixing one problem through government policy, in the short-term at least, typically requires adding to the other problem. Unfortunately, we waited until a financial crisis mired our economy in an epic slump to start treating our fiscal challenges seriously, so here we are. There are no good options.

Perhaps the most maddening aspect of all this is that the very people leading the charge to add to the deficit before the crisis through tax cuts and spending binges of various flavors have now suddenly morphed into our nation's leading fiscal scolds. Common sense, therefore, dictates that all this is more about political posturing than anything else, and that leaves me feeling particularly ambivalent about "The Fiscal Cliff" and all the hysterics surrounding it.

2 of 3

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,304.25 +38.26 0.22%
S&P 500 2,013.51 +2.15 0.11%
NASDAQ 4,587.9010 -5.5240 -0.12%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs