The fiscal cliff is a diversion, designed by politicians to conceal their inability to come to grips with the fact that they continue to spend too much, and refuse to reform a tax structure that reduces the competitiveness of American companies in world markets. No matter what deal is cut, whether before or after the new year, it will at best nibble at the edges of the trillion-dollar annual deficits that are being piled up.
"President Obama's 'Plan' Adds $8.6 Trillion to the Debt," the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee contends. Here's a chart put together by the Republicans on the committee to explain how Obama's plan adds to the debt:
Senator Jeff Sessions continues to argue against the secrecy of the ongoing "fiscal cliff" negotiations with an op-ed this morning in today's Wall Street Journal. Sessions argues that the secrecy is inherently anti-Democratic, and similar to the "Russian Duma, where officials meet behind closed doors, put out the word, and the overwhelming votes materialize."
Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell blasted President Barack Obama from the Senate floor this morning for not offering any specifics on spending cuts.
"With the Fiscal Cliff fast-approaching, I feel the need to point out something this morning that’s perfectly obvious to most Americans, but which Democrats in Washington still don’t seem to grasp. I’m referring to the fact that any solution to our spending and debt problem has to involve cuts to out-of-control Washington spending," said McConnell.
Seventy-five percent of the new revenue pulled in by President Barack Obama's "fiscal cliff" plan would go toward new spending, not toward deficit reduction, the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee contends. Here's a chart, detailing how money from the new tax hikes would be distributed:
Household debt jumped once again to $2.7 trillion, according to the New York Fed. "[T]he Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced that in the third quarter, non-real estate household debt jumped 2.3 percent to $2.7 trillion," reports the fed. "The increase was due to a boost in student loans ($42 billion), auto loans ($18 billion) and credit card balances ($2 billion)."
A dedicated libertarian, William Niskanen was also a dedicated pot-stirrer. For him the two vocations—pressing the case for small government and, at least intellectually, making trouble—were inseparable. He was best known as an original member of Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, one of a principled band of Reaganites who followed their man into the White House and then drifted away as Reagan succumbed to political compromise and ideological deviationism.
Under current law, the U.S. economy will tumble over the so-called fiscal cliff at the start of the new year, when roughly $500 billion in across-the- board tax hikes and $100 billion in spending cuts are scheduled to take effect. Numerous economists predict the automatic tax increases, the result of expiring Bush tax cuts and other tax laws, will cause another recession. Pentagon officials say the spending cuts, part of the 2011 debt ceiling deal, will “hollow out” the military.
President Obama and congressional leaders declare they’re committed to striking a deal to avert a fiscal fall. But Obama also says he wants to raise income tax rates on individuals and small businesses making more than $250,000, and Republicans say that’s a deal-breaker.
President Barack Obama used his new political politician coming off his reelection win to assert his political position ahead of fiscal negotiations with Congress.
"On Tuesday night, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach," Obama said in a statement delivered this afternoon in the White House. "And that includes Democrats, independents, and a lot of Republicans across the country, as well as independent economists and budget experts."
John Boehner laid out the House Republican position in the upcoming legislative debate on the fiscal cliff in remarks Wednesday afternoon. "Mr. President, the Republican majority here in the House stands ready to work with you to do what's best for our country," Boehner said, calling the massive national debt, now larger than the entire economy, our "greatest challenge of all."