Teetering on the 'cliff'

Dec. 06, 2012 @ 05:53 AM

It appears that a new election did not change the pattern of what has been called the "Potomac 2-step."

Congress and President Barack Obama have moved on from health care and any other political wranglings and have moved on to fiscal responsibility.

At issue is what has been billed as the "fiscal cliff," or what could happen if there are not changes made before Jan. 1, 2013.

The biggest issue is approximately $1.2 billion in spending cuts that will cut the deficit in half. By doing that, financial experts have said that could plunge the country into a deeper financial turmoil than what we have faced before.

On Wednesday, North Carolina Sen. Kay Hagan addressed media during a teleconference to talk about that very issue.

But, of course, with Washington involved you know there is more to it than that.

Another arguing point is over tax cuts.

The President is asking for additional tax cuts on families that make over $250,000 a year and Congressional Republicans have countered by asking for spending cuts to include Medicare and Social Security. They have also suggested changing the tax code as other ways to generate revenue.

The "fiscal cliff" as it is called is a combination of the $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and the implementation of tax increases that were eliminated under President George W. Bush. Those all culminate at the first of the year and will, likely, halt the nation's economic recovery.

We could easily sit here and debate who is right and who is wrong but, ultimately, both sides are right and both sides are wrong.

Implementing tax increases on certain members of the population in addition to specific spending cuts is clearly the answer, but neither side is willing to budge on any of the issues.

This creates a huge problem for the average American that could see their tax bill increase, job create come to a halt and economies like those here in Rutherford County suffer.

Our message is simple: The time for partisanship has come and gone. As with any negotiation, both sides need to be willing to compromise.

The President needs to provide specifics as to spending cuts and be willing to move somewhat on tax increases.

Congressional Republicans have to be willing to talk about a tax increase on the wealthy and make an attempt to leave Medicare and Social Security relatively unscathed.

But, until that happens, the only thing that Americans have to look forward to is a deadline. Congress and the President have until Dec. 31 to fix this debacle and that is what we sent all of them to Washington to do.

It's time for all sides to earn their wage and work for all Americans, not just a partisan plan or unworkable ideology.

We are staring a financial abyss right in the face, but there is still time to turn back and right the ship and that is what our political leaders need to do.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark