Friday, December 07, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Nonsense

I am just amazed by the level of Republican intrasigence when it comes to the whole "fiscal cliff" nonsense.

There is no real crisis. In a worst case scenario taxes will rise for all Americans and there will be significant budget/spending cuts - primarily to the defense budget. But you can be sure that Congress will fix both of those items within a day or two.

If we are going to get serious about fixing the economy and getting a handle on the deficits then there has to be spending cuts and some tax policy adjustments that bring in more revenue. It isn't that complicated. Asking the top 2 percent to go back to the Clinton era tax rates is the least we can do. Frankly, there needs to be changes to capital gains taxes, the alternative minimum tax, and the payroll tax cap. If we make modest adjustments to these, as well as look to cut government spending by $200 billion, we could easily cut our deficit in half this coming year.

In the end, we will finally see an end to the Bush tax cuts to the top 2 percent. Republicans can try to hold the remaining 98 percent hostage if they like, but it is bad policy and really bad politics.

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