Kevin Price
December 23, 2012
What if both sides want to go over the cliff?
By Kevin Price

The so-called "fiscal cliff" has dominated the news ever since the election ended, but it has hung over heads as a threat to the economy for much longer. The "cliff" is a combination of tax increases (created by not extending tax cuts that currently exist) and several deep spending cuts (passed by the Congress and signed into law by President Obama last year). The tax increases will be over $500 billion and the cuts in spending will be in the billions and will potentially affect every area of government. Most economists on the left and right believe they could be a cause of economic ruin, but both the president and Speaker Boehner, oddly, have their own reasons why they might like to see it happen.

During the debates, the president told the audience flatly that the "fiscal cliff would not happen." In the last few weeks, he has begun playing a bold game of chicken and has made it clear he is ready to jump. Meanwhile, House Speaker Boehner has consistently said such a thing cannot happen. He has offered several counter proposals, including one endorsed by moderate Democrat Erskine Bowles, the former Chief of Staff for Bill Clinton and best known recently as the co-chair (with former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson (R-WY)) of Barack Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform that was formed to provide a serious attack against the problem of government spending. That proposal by Boehner — as well as all the others — was rejected by President Obama. Obama is committed to making sure the most affluent have a tax increase and seems willing to do it regardless of the consequences.

So Obama has shown his willingness to face the cliff, but why would Boehner want to do it? It is certainly contrarian for the GOP to acquiesce on such tax increases, but one of the biggest complaints Republicans have had in recent years and particularly in the last election is the huge number of voters who do not pay federal taxes directly (although they certainly do in the costs of goods and services they buy from companies that pay taxes). If the problem is a lack of "skin in the game" by many voters, what better way of accomplishing that than tax increases that not only will affect the most affluent, but even the middle class? With the fiscal cliff, individuals making as little as $33,000 and couples making around $50,000 could find themselves subject to the Annual Minimum Tax, which has only been for the most affluent in recent years. Sure, this increase would also be on the wealthy and could, as Republicans have argued, have a negative impact on job creation and could lead to an exodus of revenue from the country; but it would also get the attention of all voters when it comes to taxes and might translate into electoral success.

If something is not done to avoid the fiscal cliff, the economic future of this country will likely be very gloomy.

© Kevin Price

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

Click to enlarge

Kevin Price

Kevin Price is Publisher and Editor in Chief of www.USDailyReview.com

His background is eclectic and includes years of experience in both business and public policy, as well as two decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He was an aide to U.S. Senator Gordon Humphrey (R-NH) and later went on to work in policy areas with some of the nation's leading think tanks including the National Center for Public Policy Research and was part of the Heritage Foundation's Annual Guide to Public Policy Experts... (more)

Subscribe

Receive future articles by Kevin Price: Click here

Latest articles

 

Alan Keyes
'A Bucket Brigade': The most simple, feasible way to take back America!

Stephen Stone
A path to impeachment

Alan Keyes
Perry's plight highlights liberty's real crisis

Larry Klayman
Sowing seeds of our own destruction

Alan Caruba
Witnessing a failed presidency

J. Matt Barber
How we told our kids about sex

Lloyd Marcus
Peterson Vazquez, my Hispanic patriot brother hero

Rev. Austin Miles
Obama vacations while Marine rots in Mexican jail!

David Huntwork
Meet Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi: the leader of ISIS and the new caliph of the Islamic State

Matt C. Abbott
The church, politics, and the unborn; On predators and narcissism; Prayers for Cardinal George, Paul Likoudis

Ellis Washington
Muslim Brotherhood = Devout [not radical] Islam, Part II

Curtis Dahlgren
BACK TO SCHOOL: "Beware education deluxe" (Part 2)

Rev. Mark H. Creech
Labor Day: 'the plowing of the wicked'

A.J. Castellitto
WAR MACHINE, Inc. (Fighting for the Gods of War)
  More columns

Cartoons


Michael Ramirez

DaleToons

RSS feeds

News:
Columns:

Columnists

Matt C. Abbott
Chris Adamo
Bonnie Alba
Jamie Freeze Baird
Chuck Baldwin
Kevin J. Banet
J. Matt Barber
Fr. Tom Bartolomeo
. . .
[See more]

Sister sites