The fiscal cliff -- automatic tax increases and spending cuts that would go into effect January 1st if Congress and the White House fail to agree to a fix -- is going to dominate the rest 2012, but it could be the potential 2016 candidates that play critical roles in what happens toward the end of the year. This is the first round of the 2016 primaries; how these politicians deal with the fiscal cliff challenge is going to be the first thing that we talk about four years hence, it is going to be a defining moment for all of them.
Many Republicans are looking to Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., chairman of the budget committee and former vice presidential candidate, for signals on what they should be doing as these fiscal cliff talks play out. As the budget guru, he is the guy everybody trusts to run the numbers. Ryan is well-positioned to become the leader of the hardliners, the group that pushes against President Obama, which would win him support among the GOP base. But he thenRead More »from Fiscal cliff as first battle of 2016 election