(Wash. Post) ‘Fiscal cliff’: Consensus on increasing tax revenue, a wide gulf on how to do it

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the first time in decades, a bipartisan consensus has emerged in Washington to raise taxes. But negotiators working to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff” remain far apart on crucial details, including how taxes should go up and who should pay more.

Neither side gave ground in an opening round of staff-level talks last week at the Capitol. As President Obama and congressional leaders prepare for a second face-to-face meeting as soon as this week, the divide over taxes presents the biggest obstacle to replacing the heap of abrupt tax hikes and spending cuts, set to hit in January, with a less-traumatic debt-reduction plan.

People in both parties are exploring ideas for bridging the gap. Without a deal on taxes, there is not much hope for agreement on a broader strategy for restraining the national debt that also tackles the skyrocketing cost of federal retirement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

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Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsEconomyTaxesThe U.S. GovernmentBudgetMedicareSocial SecurityThe National DeficitPolitics in GeneralHouse of RepresentativesOffice of the PresidentPresident Barack ObamaSenate

3 Comments
Posted November 26, 2012 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

Political Kabuki theater at its worst: using the “election mandate” to further socialist policy via wealth redistribution.  Amazing that in a $3.6 trillion budget there is nothing to cut except the most basic service that a central, Federal, Government is formed for; defense.

All the tax increases in the world will not dent the deficit/debt.  So this is not substantive policy making, this is just nailing down another plank in the socialist agenda for “equal outcomes”.  The [sad] joke is that so many of those who voted for the stirring political message “forward” are going to be the ones paying the most for these new taxes…....poetic justice?

November 26, 10:03 am | [comment link]
2. Br. Michael wrote:

GOP leaders are quickly running away from their no tax pledge.  If they do this will ensure they defeat in subsequent elections.  Remember tax increases are real and immediate.  So called “spending cuts” are, in reality, reductions in the rate of spending increases, AND they take place over a ten year time frame with any actual reductions scheduled to take place the final two or three years.  This virtually makes sure that they will never take place.

November 26, 11:57 am | [comment link]
3. Katherine wrote:

I have yet to see any sign that Mr. Obama and the Democratic Senate leadership are willing to enact any spending cuts other than the kind described by Br. Michael in #2—imaginary spending cuts.  How then is “compromise” possible?

November 26, 6:43 pm | [comment link]
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