Now about that fiscal cliff

After the people have spoken, Congress needs to act

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The American people have spoken. They’ve said some pretty bizarre things. But they have spoken.

We’ve just re-elected the most anti-capitalist, anti-business, pro-government, big-deficit president in history – at precisely the time that the opposite was called for in order to revive the economy.

Meanwhile, we’ve taken a Democrat-led Senate that has failed to produce a budget in more than three years – and which promised never to work with a President Romney – and added even more Democrats.

The word “counterintuitive” comes to mind.

All we can do is move on. In the short-term, the two parties must find a way to avoid the coming fiscal cliff – a toxic combination of huge end-of-the-year tax increases and mammoth, indiscriminate cuts to defense and discretionary spending. This president’s own Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta calls the looming defense cuts (also known as “sequestration”) a “disaster” in the making.

“It was designed as a meat ax,” Panetta told Congress in June. “It was designed to be a disaster. Because the hope was, because it’s such a disaster, that Congress would respond and do what was right. And so I’m just here to tell you, yes, it would be a disaster.”

Indeed, massive layoffs are already on the horizon.

Meanwhile, the expiration of lower tax rates on most taxpaying Americans, and many businesses, combined with new taxes that are part of the health care law, means those Americans who pay taxes will be paying more on Jan. 1.

Unless Congress can get together.

The health-care taxes are likely to stay, since President Obama has been re-elected. But Congress could yet take action to avert the other tax increases and the meat-ax defense cuts.

Given Mr. Obama’s re-election and the Democrats’ retention of the Senate, however, Democrats are likely to dig in their heels and insist on tax increases on upper-income Americans, while resisting any federal spending cuts. It’s also probable that public opinion will turn against Republicans in the House if they try to block the tax increases at all costs.

It doesn’t help that the Republicans’ spending-cut mandate from the 2010 election has essentially been overturned by the electorate of 2012.

We can only hope that Democrats are willing to negotiate reasonable, thoughtful spending cuts to replace the blunt across-the-board cuts now scheduled to take place. The future of the country may depend on it. But Republicans may no longer have the leverage to see to it.

All this needs to happen in a lame-duck session of Congress before Christmas.

It would sure help jittery financial markets if they could do it. The uncertainty over taxes alone is making the markets as jumpy as a frog on hot asphalt. And it has to be dampening business expansion and job creation.

President Obama could help the economy, too, by taking steps to assure the business community that he will be job-friendly going forward – more so than he has been in his first term.

Congress has every reason to get together on all this.

The voters just gave them another one.

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InquiringLynn-SkepticGriggsy
47
Points
InquiringLynn-SkepticGriggsy 11/08/12 - 05:47 am
1
7
To the contrary!
Unpublished

Balderdash, Obama-Biden might be to beholden to business!Anyway, I support its pro-business proposals for the most part.

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 11/08/12 - 08:11 am
4
1
Little incentive for resolution

Who besides the working and middle classes stand to gain if the fiscal cliff is avoided? The GOP may think a disastrous economy will harm Democrats in the midterm elections. The Democrats may think a disastrous economy will create greater dependency on the government, thereby bringing more voters into their party.

Yesterday's 313-point decline in the DOW looks ominous. Retailers will suffer as investors sell their stock in order to take profits before taxes rise, and as worried consumers cut back on Christmas-shopping plans.

Do Obama and Biden have any pro-business proposals? I'd like to hear the specifics if there are any.

soapy_725
43672
Points
soapy_725 11/08/12 - 08:41 am
0
1
European Progessive Socialism
Unpublished

That is the plan, that is the future. Take it or leave. The world order is changing. A different way of life. Get the wax out of your ears. The man said he wanted to fundamental change the course of American history. If everyone was not so self absorbed with their own petty issues they could "see both the trees and the forest".

Boiled Frog is not sufficient to explain what has happened to so called educated citizens. This is more akin to the French mentality. The favorite French phase taught in all languages is "We Surrender".

Riverman1
82158
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 09:01 am
3
2
Gonna Use My Steps for Firewood

The CBO says the top one percent of Americans make 18% of the income, but pay 27.6 percent of all federal taxes, including:

■38.8 percent of federal individual income taxes
■4.0 percent of federal social insurance taxes (Social Security and Medicare)
■58.6 percent of corporate income taxes (indirectly, through stock ownership)
■5.5 percent of federal excise taxes (on such things as gasoline, tobacco, alcoholic beverages and telephones.)

I'm just going to sit in my trailer out in Aiken County and start using my steps for firewood to get through the winter until I feel the government hooking up the trailer and hauling me away.

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/08/12 - 10:18 am
1
3
HA
Unpublished

let's get over the sour grapes and over dramatic exlamations of doom. You know, every election brings out the doomsayers, especially when your party does not win. Bronco has polical capital and will surely use it to continue his strong leadership, and overcome the fiscal cliff. Let's quit blaming with hurt feelings and start supporting our country getting back on track. And good lord, when the market goes up 300 points, do you hear the ACES and bloggers give Obama credit?

Jon Lester
2285
Points
Jon Lester 11/08/12 - 10:27 am
1
1
Maybe it'll deter a few MIC pork barrel projects

like an unnecessary missile defense system which will benefit the contractors, and more squadrons of F-22's with defective ventilation systems. Maybe it's also time to review who's getting our foreign aid, and to ask ourselves if it's consistent with American values to give money to ethnocentric, theocratic and/or apartheid regimes. Withdrawing from Bahrain would be the right thing to do, as well, if the Sunni supremacist monarchy wants to keep oppressing the Shi'ite majority. Let those Gulf Cooperation Council nations take care of themselves, and if they don't think they can do it on their own, let them talk about it with India.

willie7
947
Points
willie7 11/08/12 - 12:00 pm
2
3
Mike Ryan, I thought you were
Unpublished

Mike Ryan, I thought you were a class act and respected you,
despite my disagreement with many of your editorials. At least, you could have congratulate President Obama for winning the election before you wrote your opinion.

KSL
126121
Points
KSL 11/08/12 - 04:06 pm
2
1
We could get out of Libya

We could get out of Libya also.

KSL
126121
Points
KSL 11/08/12 - 04:17 pm
2
1
The transparent pres has not been again.

Drone shot down by Iran.... on Nov.1. Could not divulge that before the election.

wayne2410
1239
Points
wayne2410 11/08/12 - 06:53 pm
0
0
When the Obamacare taxes hit,
Unpublished

When the Obamacare taxes hit, the economy dies. Period. Boy, America was such a great country, it is hard to watch as it is destroyed right in front of our eyes.

Chris 232
91
Points
Chris 232 11/09/12 - 12:57 am
0
0
Sour grapes
Unpublished

More sour grapes and doom & gloom from ACES. They need to get with the program .... And they wonder why subscriptions are down!

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