Compromises needed to avoid fiscal cliff

Published: December 1, 2012
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The news is full of “fiscal cliff” stories. All politicians seem to agree that compromise is now desired. But what type of compromise? How did this impending disaster occur? About a year ago, Washington insiders were faced with a similar but less costly fiscal cliff and the solution was sequestration, a laundry list of tax increases (let the “Bush tax” schedules expire) and spending cuts (which would affect defense, Social Security, food stamps and nearly every area of the federal budget). That averted dealing with unpleasant cuts and taxes until after the 2012 election while each party blamed the other for the failures and promised a new deal after the election.

Now the same insiders are proposing “Son of Sequestration” and each side is posturing as the party thinking of the “good of the country.” Meanwhile, the U.S. debt is nearing $17 trillion! The insiders increased spending by $1.5 trillion to “bail out” and “stimulate” in 2008-09. That was supposedly a one-time expense, but like all spending programs in D.C., it continues and is added to each year since. We voters need to be skeptical of more deals. Let's ask our senators and representatives why this solution will be more effective. Will the temporary spending of 2008-09 be addressed for what it was advertised to be?

Gary Reynolds, Norman