In the wake of the House’s rejection of Boehner’s “Plan B” proposal, O’Brien reports that Boehner is uncertain how to reach a compromise agreement.
The article reveals the continued political posturing and partisan rhetoric, as the New Year and the so-called “fiscal cliff” draw closer, leaving much uncertainty about whether or not the House and Senate will be able to find a solution agreeable to both sides.
In an earlier blog post on a Washington Post article about Boehner’s “Plan B,” I noted that both the President and the Speaker had actually moved toward each other, despite the public rhetoric. I also expressed hope that a deal would be reached before the New Year.
If it were a matter of compromise–of each side giving a little at a time until they finally met on ground workable for both parties–I would still be optimistic. However, in light of the continued public rhetoric that is nothing more than political posturing, I am not so sure an agreement will be reached before the automatic spending cuts and tax increases go into affect.
Yet, if the “fiscal cliff” does take place, I do not believe it will result in the doomsday scenario that many seem to fear. As I blogged previously, higher tax rates–specifically higher tax rates for the wealthiest Americans–do not have a one-to-one correlation with a stagnant or depressed economy and/or higher unemployment.
What we, the general U.S. population, need to encourage our representatives to do is this: enact a workable compromise that is not based on a doomsday fear of the “fiscal cliff” taking place. In other words, we need to work toward a middle ground that is based on what is deemed best and workable by both sides, even if an agreement isn’t reach by the end of this year. It needs to be a sound package that the legislature enacts based on wide and prudent discussion, not reached hurriedly based on fear of the consequences of reaching the “fiscal cliff.”
If it takes longer to find the middle ground due to all the political posturing that has much more to do with seeking re-election than it does with reaching a compromise, then so be it. Going “over the cliff” will not ruin the country, because higher taxes and spending cuts are not the only factor influencing the economy. Moreover, whatever agreement is finally reached could be applied retroactively, as Suzy Kim of the Washington Post wrote back in July, so that the consequences of reaching a decision after January 1, 2013 would likely be minimal.
The full-text of O’Brien’s article can be found here: http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/21/16067882-boehners-fiscal-path-forward-god-only-knows?lite