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New figures illustrate unserious nature of 'fiscal cliff' negotiations

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: December 16, 2012

In spite of all the high drama, experts say adoption of either Obama's plan or the GOP proposal would still leave the nation at risk for another credit downgrade. Neither plan comes close to the 65.5 percent debt-to-GDP ratio that would have been achieved by the Simpson-Bowles Commission proposal. Experts say a debt-to-GDP ratio above 70 percent leaves the United States on the path to a future European-style debt crisis.

The debt-to-GDP ratio was below 50 percent for decades. Somehow, though, the idea of merely bringing federal spending in line with what was considered extravagant just six years ago is not even being proposed.

Republican House Speaker John Boehner shouldn't be blamed too much for the situation. He has little leverage and is trying to get the best deal possible negotiating with a president more worried about so-called income inequality than economic stability and job growth. This means the final outcome will still likely be a bad deal, but perhaps not as bad as it might have been.

Still, the fact that our nation's leaders pretend that plans which could result in another credit downgrade while leaving the United States on the path to Greece are serious deficit-reduction proposals is an insult to all hardworking, taxpaying families who already struggle to get by in the Obama economy.

The Politico/GWU/Battleground poll found 59 percent of respondents felt the country was on the wrong track. Given the ludicrous nature of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations, who can blame them?

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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