November 30, 2012

The “fiscal cliff” is coming. It’s a man-made disaster that’s ready to explode. But what exactly does it entail?

The fiscal cliff is a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that start to take effect January 1. President Obama and Congress will need to act quickly to avoid at least some parts of the fiscal cliff.

Heritage Foundation experts Romina Boccia, James Sherk, Katie Tubb offer more detail and specific recommendations on the four main parts of the fiscal cliff:

1. Taxmageddon tax increases

Starting January 1, Americans will face a $494 billion tax increase, the highest ever in one year. The average American household would see its taxes rise by $4,100 in 2013 alone. Uncertainty about the law continues to hurt the economy as businesses and individuals are afraid to invest or hire.

Heritage Recommendation: Free the American people from uncertainty and economic devastation by extending the current tax rates. In addition, lawmakers should stop the new Obamacare taxes, especially the tax on non-wage income.

2. Sequestration spending cuts

Sequestration is a procedure of automatic spending cuts built into last year’s debt limit deal. Congress’s failure to enact spending cuts legislatively triggered automatic budget cuts, which total $1.2 trillion over nine years. The cuts are set to start on January 2.

Sequestration disproportionately affects the military. If defense sequestration is not stopped, it will delay investment in new equipment, force cutbacks on repairs, lead to declines in military research and development, and require reductions in base services.

Heritage Recommendation: Prevent the $150 billion in cuts in defense for 2013, and cut spending from other programs.

3. The ‘Doc Fix’ to Medicare

Unless Congress agrees on another short term solution before the end of the year, physicians will receive a 27 percent decrease in pay for Medicare patients they see. This could leave millions of seniors without care.

Heritage Recommendation: In the short run, stop the immediate cuts to Medicare. Then fix Medicare with a long term solution that controls the program’s runaway costs through competition and consumer choice.

4. Emergency unemployment benefits

Congress is also considering extensions to unemployment benefits. In 2010, Congress created temporary federal benefits that allow unemployed workers to receive income support up to 99 weeks.  Extending benefits for too long of a time encourages those benefiting from the system to postpone job searches.

Heritage Recommendation: If Congress chooses to extend benefits past six months, they must reduce the extended unemployment benefits to 52 or 60 weeks and pay for it by reducing spending on less valuable programs. As the labor market improves, Congress should continue to reduce these benefits.

How do you think Congress should deal with the fiscal cliff?

Comments (67)

Roger Evans Sr - November 30, 2012

No problem all you have to do is push all the democrats over the cliff, got it, do it.

Mary Miller - November 30, 2012

Congress should extend the existing Bush tax cuts, etc. Get rid of the sequestration and then rationally and sensibly approach all the problems, ONE AT A TIME. DO NOT, throw it all together and PUSH for ALL or NOTHING. Time for some SANITY in Washington D.C..

Chris C - November 30, 2012

I am growing increasingly tired of these types of articles myself. I would much rather read about how Heritage is working to actually IMPLEMENT some of these ideas through congress. As a contributor I have a growing desire to make sure my contributions are actually being used to make a difference rather than to generate great intellectual discussions.

Kamill Rohny - November 30, 2012

Extend current tax-structure, because there is not enough
time this year to resolve it correctly!

Gordon Jacobs - November 30, 2012

I think the Republicans should hold there ground and like the Democrats push everyone off the fiscal cliff.

Dexter Varnell - November 30, 2012

Government spending must be cut across the board. Entitlements must be cut included medicare and social security. Government must stop lying to the people.

Jude Richardson - November 30, 2012

This a game Obama has played successfully in 2009, 2010, 2011 and now 2012. He holds the cards that he deals. If we call we lose. If we fold we lose. It is not like we carry a very big stick. This is old news. Let him rake in the chips in His glory and to his detriment.

Shirley - November 30, 2012

Really? I suggest the Republicans go home. Enjoy their families for Christmas and New Years and don’t look back.

This President will continue to print money and give out handouts for another 4 years.

The “cliff”? Dr Ron Paul said that we can’t begin to get back to the Constitution unless we stop taxing and spending. This President will continue to go around Congress with “Executive Orders” and apparently the House is incapable of stopping him even though they control the purse strings.

The Dems talk about how rapidly the Hispanic population has grown. They are right. They refuse to enforce immigration laws and to demand voter ID is “Racist”. They are working diligently toward socialism and they will not be stopped. It is at the point where a minority can rule the majority.

The Republicans haven’t learned how to go before the cameras and speak to 4 year olds. The Dems are pros using words like “Mean”, “Racist”, “Elites”, “Wealthy”, “Isolationist”, “Un-compassionate”.

So Speaker Boehner needs to close down the House, save the electricity and heat, and go home.

Doc168 - November 30, 2012

The liberals including obama need to run it like a business and cut the spending,,, NOW !
Quite jokying for TV time and go bank rupt if you are not smart enough to do the job !

richard cobb - November 30, 2012

Congress. Should pass a bill that extends all tax.rates make cuts in programs to protect the military from sequester cuts and.hand off to the dem. Controlled Senate and them have to rise or lower people taxes and cut defense

Donald R. beaver - November 30, 2012

The Republican leaders Should make it very clear that they will not approve any new taxes and not raise the debt limit.Mr. Boehner has constitutional authority thru
control of the House to control spending.Re- emphasize
that plan and then back off.The Dems wil blame them
whatever they do

Jeff Tomb - November 30, 2012

In stead of extending the unemployment cut the amount down to half so that they would look for part time work to supliment their income.

Antonio ribeiro - November 30, 2012

The congress must extend the Bush tax cuts for everybody and permanently,and reform seriously the entitlements,medicare and social security.for some reason the president and the democrats now after all think that the Bush tax cuts are after all good,after for so long being against them.That shows their hipocrisy.

george bagwell - November 30, 2012

What kind of tax bill will come about if the Bush bill expires ? The only way to eliminate waste in govt spending is to take the punch bowl away . Obama should not have gone into Afgan . He only did it because it was a campaign argument . Bring the troupes home . Let’s have sequestration . House should not approve any spending for Obama care . Lets go to crisis and see if the country can learn a thing or two .

John - November 30, 2012

John Boehner is a loser for negotiations with Democrats, the worst Republican Speaker that I can remember since voting. I don’t care what he says prior to giving everything away…he will give them what they want and Democrats know it.

Paula Smith - November 30, 2012

The president and all elected officials need to fix the problem which THEY CAUSED THEMSELVES. I didn’t blow the money, nor did the rest of the good taxpayers of America. Tell Washington IT’S NOT THEIR MONEY. Stop stealing from us. Stop stealing the fruits of OUR labor. We are not slaves to the government. We are free people. Put it in the same terms as with slavery. What is being demanded of us, free people who work and have a right to keep the fruits of our labor, is absolutely immoral–just like slavery was.

Thanks for your good work!

Pam - November 30, 2012

The president and all elected officials need to fix the problem which THEY themselves caused. American taxpayers work hard and we did not create this problem. Our elected officials DID create this problem. Demanding more and more and more from us–when we have no say in how the money is spent–is nothing short of theft. It is stealing from the citizens who work and earn. Stop stealing the fruits of OUR labor. We are not slaves to the government. We are free people. What is being demanded of us, free people who work and have a right to keep the fruits of our labor, is absolutely immoral–just like slavery was.

Thanks, Heritage, for your good work!

Stuart MacLean - November 30, 2012

Give Democrats everything they want and put a ceiling on the cliff. A ‘monetary ceiling’! Congress does not have the authority to “emit bills of credit”. (Article I, Section 8). Otherwise, go over the cliff and have Obama “feel our pain”.

Don - November 30, 2012

Simply leave the Bush tax cuts as they are for the poor and middle class and raise taxes on the rich. If our party does not do that we can kiss the house goodbye in a couple of years. So we might as well bite the bullet and cooperate with Obama and then point out that we are the party that cooperates instead of the party that obstructs. We will keep the house that way.

Penny Nixon - November 30, 2012

Hi from the “Chosen Frozen” in Wasilla Alaska,

I recommend that your readers adopt the “contumacious resistance” the American settlers used to survive; we have no choice but to put our noses down and grind out the best we can for our own families and friends, and the devil take the Obamunists.
Let the leftists take the “bipartisan” fiscal cliff; they voted for it too. They can own it. No compromise with leftists can ever be a winning strategy.
Keep bashing the blathering stupidity of the left..

Cheers,
Penny Nixon
Wasilla, AK

Gilbert A. Zimmerman, Jr. - November 30, 2012

Here’s the deal. EVERYTHING the President does is intended to accomplish one principal goal. REDISTRIBUTE THE WEALTH OF THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA. PERIOD. This is the ‘retribution’ he spoke about in the last campaign.

Therefore, EVERYTHING we consider must keep this in mind. We must also keep in mind that he does not believe the Constitution is valid.

The only thing I can recall that comes close to the Obama phenomena is Joe McCarthy. The problem is that this is MUCH worse. We have a real progressive feeding frenzy on our hands. A jail break, if you will.
The inmates are running the asylum. Occupy Wall St. is winning. Really, it is that bad.

I recommend that the conservatives give Obama EVERYTHING he wants. He will fail and the American people are going to suffer needlessly. But it is the only way to break the fever. The masses do NOT understand what this guy is trying (and successfully so) to pull off. Give him the rope he needs to hang himself and then pray to God it works.

Greg Hergott - November 30, 2012

I strongly encourage the Republicans to walk away from the negotiations… they can’t win… the deck is stacked for the Democrats to gain and the Republicans to take the blame… I defer to Ann Coulter… MAKE THE DEMS OWN THE OBAMA ECONOMY…

http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/make-the-dems-own-the-obama-economy/

LOU - November 30, 2012

The House should not bend to what the Democrats want. This deadline is here because everyone in WA DC kicked the can down the road. They need to put in an extension say 90 days. Everyone works to implement tax code changes to get it simplified to a flat rate income tax that lowers rates for everyone and removes loop holes, deductions and shelters. They need to set milestones and deadline due dates and no vacation or time off until this is done and implemented.

Trishcuit - November 30, 2012

How should we deal with the fiscal cliff? Push Obama over it.

Bruce - November 30, 2012

Taxes should not be increased on Dividends and Capital Gains. The Definition of “Rich” should be increased to $500K or $1000K per year as suggested by Buffett. Bernanke needs to stop debasing our currency. Obama’s socialist income redistribution scheme needs to be stopped even though he campaigned on this issue and probably won the election as a result.

Mary Hermann - November 30, 2012

First question: Why don’t we stop paying all foreign aid (especially to non-democratic countries) until our economy is back on its feet again? We need to heal our own economy before we try helping others or we are all going to sink together.
Second question: Why do they keep calling Medicare an entitlement program? I’ve paid into that my whole working career and I deserve to have what I paid for. To me, an entitlement is something you get which you have not paid for, such as Medicaid and, in some cases, welfare. It seems to me that if the able bodied recipients of Medicaid and welfare were doing something to earn it the government would be able to save some money instead of throwing it down a dark hole.

Patricia Birren-Wilsey - November 30, 2012

Extend the Bush tax “cuts,” halt current and anticipated regulatory strangleholds on the private sector. Once the free market shows evidence of reinvigoration, pass a FAIR tax, and then propose Constitutional Amendment XXVIII to provide just punishment for the malfeasance of those legislators who have allowed this dangerous economic indebtedness, which is tantamount to national security suicide. Punishment for those who presently enjoy immunity for their treasonous actions to include impeachment, prosecution, jail time, and loss of retirement benefits.

john uhrhammer - November 30, 2012

Trillions of dollars in debt and no will to stop spending?
Stop ALL aide to other countries! Fire one third of ALL non-military federal employees. Stop paying congressmen until they do their job! When I don’t work I don’t get payed.

David Paul - November 30, 2012

There would be no fiscal cliff in the first place if our taxing system were consumption based rather than income based. I have sent you this recommendation before but received no response: a 10% across the board national retail sales tax on all new purchases, no exceptions, paid by everyone, no exceptions period, doing away with all other taxes, no exceptions. This would 1) give everyone an approximate 10% raise in disposable income, 2) stop the politicians from playing shell games with our money. It would also give us all something else to talk about.

Stan Bennett - November 30, 2012

Let it happen, EVERY Republican vote present. The other greater good would be to have the coward Boehner step down from a position he is not capable of doing.

Rex Talmage - November 30, 2012

1.Eliminate Obamacare
2. Maintain Current tax rates for this year.
3. Maintain the Current level of Military support, but with a watchdog group looking out for unconscionable charges for equipment.
4. REQUIRE Congress to establish a SIMPLE tax code, (fair-tax & consumption tax combined) within the next year, with a text no longer than our Constitution so anyone who reads could understand it — if they don’t, their pay AND benefits stop until the do so.
5. COMPLETE a budget within that same year that spends less than what we take in with taxes, until we pay off our humongus debt.
6. Immediately cut out ALL subsidies, corporate and otherwise. IF they can’t survive without a subsidy, they do not deserve to exist. I had to make it on MY own!!
7. PERMANENTLY fix SS with “alternatives” for everyone under 50, and extend the age of retirement.
8. Provide BLOCK GRANTS to states for all Medicare, Medicaid, and Education — totally eliminating the bloated Washington bureaucracy — $ amounts to be per-person with a legal ID for being here, and the total amount to be no more than 10% of total national revenue.
THERE’S MORE, BUT THAT’S A START!!

Donald G McKeighen - November 30, 2012

How should the ‘Congress’ handle the ‘fiscal cliff’? They should stand up to the bully that is Barack Obama and say NO! I think that’s pretty clear enough, the GOP has the spine of a slinky. John Boehner should step down, in my opinion he is not a leader he is a capitulator.

John Controne - December 1, 2012

The House should send up to the Senate a bill to continue current tax rates until 6/30/13 because there is not enough time to make good law this term. If Obama or Reid go against it, the House can make the case that to do it right this is the only way and if the Dems do not go along, the onus of the fiscal cliff is on them, not the GOP which is what Obama really is trying to do.
The next House should write brand new tax law with a flat tax that makes filing unnecessary for most people and include a means to keep lobbyists from corrupting it over the following years as they have done to current tax law. Since everyone in a corporation pays their own taxes from the CEO down to the guy that sweeps the floor, corporate taxes at the Federal level should be eliminated. That would provide resources for hiring, promoting, research and development, etc. That’s real positive change.
This would cut the IRS at least 90%. What a savings. Less salaries and pensions to pay. Less printings and mailings. Less buildings and cars to rent. Less lawyers and court cases. Bye bye most tax lawyers, corporate and otherwise.
What a dream. Never will happen. Congress is mostly lawyers and all they do is pass laws for us to follow and cost us lawyer fees for a lot of mundane things. Imagine if Congress were mostly farmers and they always passed laws primarily benefiting agriculture. The people would be up in arms, but somehow lawyers get away with it.

Jeff Yetter - December 1, 2012

This is dirt simple. Keep the tax cuts. Dump the increases. In no WAY is this rocket science.

Mark Colwell - December 1, 2012

I think the best fiscal cliff solution would be a thorough review of the entire size and scope of the Federal Government. Rather than hold the gun to the head of the military, give the Federal Government a mandate of 30% size reduction to be acheiived through the downsizing/elimination of entire Departments. Education is a state function, eliminate the Federal Department of Education, it’s simply a duplicitous budget drain. Look closely at the EPA, the federal Department of Labor. Agriculture is a state function, eliminate the Federal Dept of Agriculture. Let the employees in those departments get a job in the Capitalist Economy that made our country great.

Scott Briscoe - December 1, 2012

I don’t think tax increases on anyone is good. But in the world of politics you have to compromise. So If I were a Republican in congress I would propose a tax increase on “the rich” to be effective the year following actual Federal spending reductions (not talking reduced increases but actual reductions) and that the tax increase be calculated based on a 5 to 1 ratio (for every $5 of actual reduced spending, taxes go up $1) to a preset maximum rate. That way Republicans can say they are NOT protecting the rich at the expense of the middle class/poor. And taxes only go up IF the government actually starts taking control of spending which is ultimately the only way to resolve the debt problems.

Frank J. Randazzo - December 1, 2012

the repubs. should stick to their initial pledges not to raise taxes and have obama and his leftists figure it out.the country will hit bottom and there will be pain but maybe that is what we need to get rid of the socialist and darn i will say communists and rid them out once and for all.

John Strayer - December 1, 2012

The American Idiots who voted for Barry were not concerned at all. The only way to let them witness what they have done is to simply let it happen.All of this is simply a scare tactic-nothing will happen!

Donald Lockwood - December 1, 2012

Thanks. This is an informative article. We cannot afford to decrease the spending on our military. The longer a person receives unemployment benefits the easier it is to depend upon the gov’t for support. We need to foaster individual responsibility and pride.

Nelda Lewis - December 1, 2012

I think Republicans should stand firm on no tax hikes and go over the cliff.

Inspr44 - December 1, 2012

To some of us, there exist known universal laws and basic, fundamental principles of economics. Whether we know them or choose to understand and comprehend them, they exist in and of themselves. Both parties have led us down a path that ignores these fundamental principles and the a priori nature of these economic principles.

Rather than dwell upon job creation the all encompassing religious economics of today’s politicians, what comes first is wealth creation that leads an economic entity to generate excess income, or experience growth in cash flows to hire additional employees, i.e., job creation (as much as I hate to use this term, as it belittles the concept of an ongoing economic entity that must flourish before it can add more energetic individuals to a payroll). Thus, the focus on job creation and employment does not focus on the real issue, which is the creation of wealth and in purely financial terms, profits that can be employed to pay an individual to add their energies to the conduct of the economic entity (creation of wealth, although aligned in today’s vernacular with financial wealth, is much more broad of a concept, especially at the individual level, where spiritual, physical, emotional, knowledge, and external aspects, like financial wealth all are a component of the creation of wealth.)

Policies that focus on job creation can be ones that promote governments to hire employees, thus achieving the job creation objective. However, where does the monies come from to support a government entity in adding positions that are ultimately filled by new employees. Well, of course, since government does not generate profit or create wealth in and of itself, but through collection of taxes and fees from its citizens or other entities that generate profit, they create jobs through the energies of others.

Thus, the misleading concept of job creation as a way to achieve economic stability is disguised as to its real sources of that stability – the private sector, and an economic entity that creates those taxable and fee based monies.

The real focus of both parties needs to be on economic growth, and the creation of wealth – in the broadest sense, not just financial. One can not borrow or do fiscally imprudent activities, like the Fed in its printing money schemes in collusion with the US Treasury to camouflage the reality of our economic woes, if only temporarily alleviating the painful outcome that these activities portend.

To reduce and eliminate debt now larger than $16T, we need to generate tax revenues that not only balance a fiscal year spending budget, but that also generate continuous excesses of the then current spending budget so that the debt can be relieved in continual increments over a sustained period of time well into the future.This is truly, getting ones fiscal house in order.

The real question is how do we get excess tax revenue over and above current fiscal year budget expenditure, to pay down the debt, especially when we now compete on a global scale economically with other capable entities, such as, China, India, Brazil, Germany, and aspects of other countries, like the Arab world and Russia, and their generation of petroleum products, and other commodities, that are aligned with other competing national economies that compete with our capabilities?

By ignoring universal principles of economics and how these known principles operate, our politicians focus our citizenry’s attentions on symptomatic concerns based on ideology and priorities of the ideology of the promoter, and thus, skew the dialog away from the fundamental parameters, and components of real solutions, and the more narrowly focused parameters that are meaningful in achieving the objective of debt reduction. How anyone who is alive, thinking, and non-delusional would satisfy the known economic principles involved with debt reduction, tax revenue generation equivalent to current expenditure and excess tax revenue generation that must be available to reduce and pay down the debt, with the current political thinking and policy promotions, is beyond living in reality, and rides on the wave of delusional, wishful and fantasyful thinking

Our dishonest politicians, and delusional citizens who perhaps do not understand the principles of economics and their overarching universal principles can continue to promote policies, means, and methods that will accomplish not what they set out to do or promote as an ultimate solution to quelling the debt problem, but any rational, realistic, thinking person who faces the world we live in with honesty about that reality, will understand if not now, but in the future that their perception of reality is flawed, unless of course, they have power to coerce others to believe in their fictitious reality through force and intimidation – but that is only temporarily the case, as competing interests and reality set in to overcome the current power to be replaced by another, and another, until a set of people decide that they have had enough and try to set up and maintain a free society, and do so, as long as they can keep it so.

Matthew Halbach - December 1, 2012

I’m a life long Conservative Republican who is tired of my Party getting out manuvered by the Liberals in Congress. Look the media is never…never going to give Republicans a break. No matter what happens we will be blamed. So lets go over the cliff which will cut spending, increase revenue and maybe that way we can begin to address the 16T debt that began under Bush…our guy. When the debt limit comes up Republcans should say no, were cutting spending and raising taxes by going over “the cliff”…no more debt increases. The Republicans did such a poor job framing the argument during the election that of course people want to raise taxes on the 2%. Look, I don’t my kids and grandkids to get stuck with this mess. I’m willing to pay more in taxes to that end. So lets go over the cliff, we’ll get blamed (so what). Let’s suck it up and save the Country.

Dean Ethridge - December 1, 2012

Given that Obama is President and the Senate is controlled by the Democratic Party, nothing can be done. Your ‘reasonable solutions’ are, of course, reasonable. However, such solutions are not possible. It distresses me for Heritage to be warbbling on about what should be done, rather than confronting – and preparing its readers for – the reality. Either the House will give Obama just what he wants or Obama will embrace the fiscal cliff; supremely confident that he can demagogue the issue to his ultimate advantage. The Republican estblishment, a large share of Republican voters, most vested business interests, most association executives, the Heritage Foundation, . . . All of these entities just cannot comprehend and accept the reality presented to them by Obama. If you refuse to understand your adversary, how can you expect to ‘win’?

Jill - December 1, 2012

Thanks for asking. I want to see the Dept. of education and the Dept of energy eliminated from the federal bureaucracy. I also want Homeland security eliminated and their responsibilities given to the FBI. I want the unwinable wars to cease. Bring the troops home and discharge the majority into civilian life.
The department of agriculture needs to be downsized in a serious way.
We have elected people to “run the nation’s business” who have no clue as to what or why they are in DC. There should be mandatory classes to educate the elected regarding their obligations under our Constitution and to the people they represent.
The federal reserve must be audited. Foreign aid needs to cease.
I believe it’s no wonder that 1/3 of the people eligible to vote did not vote. Many have simply given up.

Sharron Ashton - December 1, 2012

Let Obama have his way. Give him everything he wants. Let his fingerprints be all over everything that happens as a result. Anybody who believes he wants to do the right thing has already fallen off the cliff.

Jeanne - December 1, 2012

I like your solutions, but I don’t think there will be a willingness to work with these. Also, I am not quite sure I believe in the drastic nature of the “Cliff”. Seems they cry wolf so often, that I just don’t believe or trust anymore. Nor do I trust them to follow through on any concessions. I think those will all be on the GOP side.

Loren W. - December 1, 2012

Let it happen! It’s about time Republicans did something
other than cave when the going got tough. Besides, I
think this is mostly political theater designed to play on
the ignorance and fears of the average voter. Perhaps,
afterwards, the Administration will negotiate in good
faith (I’m not holding my breath).

John A. Quayle - December 1, 2012

Congress *MUST* drastically cut taxes and spending at the same time. Lowering the barriers ro doing commerce will only spur more activity. There also has got to be a serious plan to divest the government of all the federal land holdings. Selling off these properties will balance the budget alone. Time to get off the fence an get it done!

Renny - December 1, 2012

He broke it, let “him” fix it. “WITHOUT HIM WE WILL SURVIVE!!!”

fred - December 1, 2012

the wasteful spending has to stop !!!!!!!!!!

Mike - December 1, 2012

The “fiscal cliff” is an important issue to be sure, but the larger issue is Obama’s refusal to negotiate “terms” based on the principles of equality and mutual respect.
Intuition and experience tell me that agreeing to do what Obama wants will hurt our country significantly for some time to come. No good will accrue to the Republicans in that event.

Richard Dawson - December 1, 2012

What we think they should do is not what they will do. The only way I see we, the responsible American’s, will ever get their attention is to let the country collapse and implode on itself by starving the economy. We should all purchase the things we “need” to survive, and nothing else. Gas, food and water, that’s it.. Within 6 months to a year the deadbeats, and our worthless Congress would get the message.

Marti - December 1, 2012

The president can single handedly extend the tax cuts as he did in 2010. Why don’t the Republicans put the ball in his court and hold him responsible for the “fiscal cliff”? He’s the one refusing to extend them. Democrats seem to be much better and tougher politicians; Republicans always seem to be put in the position of defending themselves. Why don’t they get on the offense and put the blame where it belongs? When Obama wagged that pen and said the Republicans would be to blame for the “fiscal cliff” why didn’t the Repubs come back with a quick answer and let everyone know that obama holds the power to save the American people, but isn’t. I’m sick of the lack of backbone in the Repub leadership to be bolder to get the truth of their message to the people.

Keith Castan - December 2, 2012

Firstly, stop calling it the Fiscal Cliff because the phrase is being used as a scare tactic.

Secondly, real spending cuts. IT IS NEVER ABOUT REVENUE IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT OVERSPENDING.

Thirdly, let the pain happen. The only thing Americans apparently can understand is pain. Let the economy collapse.

The only thing different in our politics today is we have a true MARXIST running the country. It makes me sad the American people have become so ignorant and mislead that they would allow such a travesty to occur.

When you are being fundamentally changed the old rule book no longer applies. This is a big reason Republicans could not win an election Mickey Mouse should have been able to win.

We need a major event to reset. Obama wants the economy to collapse so he can “SAVE US” as a statist collective.

I want the economy to collapse so we can be SAVED FROM HIM.

The big problem with my plan is that we need people with real courage to be the ones who pick up the pieces and RESTORE OUR REPUBLIC. It cannot be Obama.

Virginia Faber - December 2, 2012

Your solutions are commonsense approaches and set proper priorities for the government. Let’s pray that the Republicans do not settle for the kind of compromise in the last debt limit negotiations that led to this ‘fiscal cliff”

Sick n Tired - December 2, 2012

I’ve had a belly full of Boehner and the whole Republican party. The Dems haven’t presented a budget in 4 years and Boehner wants to negotiate?? It’s time for Boehner to admit he’s been ineffective and step aside or the party should force his resignation.

Bill - December 2, 2012

Since the Democrats like to say that the economy was booming during Clinton’s Administration (of course not listing the other economic facts of that time) when tax rates were higher on the wealthy, Republicans should remind voters that the tax rates were also higher on the middle class and that Bush lowered all the tax rates. If higher rates result in a better economy then all the rates should be higher. Why does no one talk about this obvious refutation about the higher rates for the wealthy? If the Federal government would just gets its nose out of the lives of individuals, the economy would boom. If this is a fiscal cliff then you have to admit that the higher rates during Clinton’s time are detrimental.
Also, why don’t Republicans refuse to discuss anything until Reid responds to the budget passed by the House? Tho in their right mind only talks about income and not about a formal plan for expenses (not just about cuts)? Not only hold the sword over the heads of Democrats concerning the debt ceiling but also refuse to pass any more continuing resolutions. This will dramatically reduce the deficit, albeit with repercussions, but you’re going to get them anyway. Be responsible adults and stop acting like the teenagers that elect the President.

Charles Davis - December 3, 2012

I have the following suggestions:

1. Stop the public campaign stops by the President, bring everyone into the halls of Congress, televise sessions of Congress and Senate, objective – Balanced budget in 4 years, and NO recess until agreement on fiscal cliff and balanced budget in 4 years is reached.

2. Look at entitlements, welfare, Social Security Disabiliity, Medicare, Obamacare, Medicaid and all programs – determine the level of pain that can be sustained and cut accordingly.

3. Look at the pay of Congress, Senate, and President and cut pay by a percentage for each day until agreement can be reached and cut pay by the same average amount that the programs in item 2 are cut.

4. Make the tax system progressive – reduce taxes based on productivity and increase taxes on people and companies where productivity lags. Encourage work ethic instead of taxing productivity and creativity.

5. Remember that our economy is a system – right now it is a patch work, make it an economic engine for both now and the future.

Thank you.

Ann Giles - December 3, 2012

The Congress passed this bill and the President signed it. Now it is time to live by it. Why did it pass if it was a disaster?? Let’s go off the cliff and get some reductions in programs and live with it. The House controls the money and its time for them to act like “Big boys”.

Jimmy Thomas - December 3, 2012

you guys are too focused on the practical solution and totally ignore the political solution. you are assuming the american public has the same brain power as you do. BHO has figured out that they don’t. For instance, why has no one clearly called out BHO on the definition of “fair share”? If I pay $30K in taxes and someone else pays $0, who is and isn’t paying their fair share. Geez guys, it’s not about intellectual right and wrong, it’s about HOW you get your point across. Ditch the eggheads and hire people that know not only how to postulate but also know how to win!

Robert Harrill Payne - December 3, 2012

Let the Dem’s enjoy the wrath that comes with higher taxes. Going over the so called cliff is fine with me. The Republicans will get the blame regardless. The liberal press will always be on the side of the socialist Dem’s. Maybe this will wake up the American people as to the future of a socialist agenda.

Thomas Lutz - December 4, 2012

We have to do something! , or we will become a Socialist country. Which is what he is after.

Richard Swan - December 4, 2012

The Republican House should pass extension of tax breaks for their 2-yr term; offset military cut($500 B)with new funding in same amt.;adjustmts. to Medicare and SS to preserve them. Force Obama and Reid to reject their legislation and assume total responsibility for all chaos that follows.

Deborah McNally - December 4, 2012

Obama gave a telephone interview for the biggest newspaper in Ohio while campaigning and asked them NOT to print that he was going to let the Bush cuts expire AND go over the fiscal cliff…………….he wants this and it should be known that is why he won’t be coming to the table with any serious offers. The Republicans will get blamed either way SO let us keep true to our values and let him have his way because that is what it will take to convince the independents AND democrats to WAKE UP and smell the Socialism !! Myself and even the Tea Party will re-elect our representatives anyway.

Richard Leslie - December 4, 2012

stand against spending increases, cut frills

Jim - December 5, 2012

Obama is on record having said he would oppose the raising of the debt ceiling. Hold him to it by demanding he be specific in how he will go about achieving this! If he breaks this promise as he had done on every promise ever made, hit him with a vote in the House to lower tax rates for everyone effective immediately. Obama loves to play chicken with Americans and our Nation. Do not offer anything beyond this and let’s see if Obama has the intestinal fortitude to go over the cliff.
I think he’s a chicken and isn’t going to allow Boehner and his Repubs to push him over the cliff.
Jim

Bill Snedden - December 5, 2012

Implement Heritage Foundation’s suggestions for this year AND get serious input from the private sector next year. One way to get serious input is to publically present a program similar to the “You Cut” movement that died last year. Using the internet, ordinay citizens can do the cutting choices. Also the same input source could be used to solicit Good ideas from the people to reduce spending. Many of the things that could be done are not happening because they are “too small”. I think that is BUNK! Reducing a lot of small costs will eventually add up to big stuff. We need to cut spending not increase revenue. Next year we should be doing TAX REFORM big time, including the posssibility of eliminating the IRS except to handle the Flat tax as suggested by Heritage (with a smaller % number and create a national inclusive sales tax (with a smaller number than suggested by the FAIR tax bills). This would increase the base number of people paying into our system (perhaps mainly for the social programs. Use the majority of the IRS personnel to hunt down the fraudsters!!!

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