LJWorld.com weblogs Science Becoming Religion
Congress Can Avoid Fiscal Cliff
A year and a half ago President Barack Obama and members of Congress signed a suicide pact that they would lead the nation over a "fiscal cliff" if they couldn't agree on deficit reducing measures by the end of the Mayan calendar. The crackpots agreed to a measure that could impose taxing and spending changes that would be so drastic they could cause economic problems that would INCREASE the deficit by another trillion dollars. [Note: because of Congressional procedures and a desire for a Christmas break, members would need to reach an agreement by the date the Mayan calendar ends in order to get the legislation to President Obama by the end of the year.]
We don't need to go over the fiscal cliff. Congress cannot pass legislation that Congress cannot change. If there are any sane members of Congress left, they should introduce legislation to repeal the measure requiring a deficit agreement by the end of this year or at least extend the deadline for another year. If past Congresses could violate agreements they reached with the Cherokee and the Sioux, the current Congress can rescind an agreement reached among its members during a period of collective insanity.
The main obstacle to an agreement is that Obama wants to increase taxes and spending and Republicans want to reduce both. Our system is based on compromise. Each side needs to give in on one issue. Obama should agree to let Republicans reduce spending in exchange for Republicans giving Obama a tax increase on those who can afford to pay higher taxes.