State & National News

Congress likely to be blamed for fall off fiscal cliff.

December 5, 2012

The latest Pew Research/Washington Post poll shows that the public is still pessimistic over prospects for a deficit agreement between the White House and Congress. However, more will be blame Congress for the failure if it happens.

Four-in-ten (40 percent) expect that the president and congressional Republicans will reach a deal by Jan. 1 to prevent automatic tax increases and spending cuts from taking effect; 49% say they will not. If no deal is reached, far more say congressional Republicans would be more to blame (53 percent) than President Obama (27 percent).

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  • Ames December 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Raising the debt limit is the normal course of business, failing to do that creates seriousabd in and of itself does not create new debt. However, failing to do so creates a catastrophe for the economy. Make it simple by making it personal, let’s say that you get paid once a year and you have payments due on demand on your payday. What happens if you don’t get paid?

  • r. cothran December 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Just a thought…

    If one were to take the ‘title’ of this post to a logical conclusion, does that mean congress will also get the majority of the credit if the ‘fiscal cliff’ is averted?

    Or is this a scenario where congress takes the blame if talks fail, but, the President gets the credit is they succeed?

    Generally – I believe they are all equal contributors to this tomfoolery.

  • Ames December 5, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Politicians who are pretending to not be aware of what the debt limit is should be disqualified for the government positions they currently hold. It’s absurd for them to politicize such basic functions of government. Once the election is over there is work to be done. The debt limit has to be raised to meet existing obligations, including spending obligations voted on and approved by the very people who currently serve in the House of Representatives. This isn’t a Fiscal Cliff, it’s a Fiscal Bluff.

    The debt limit is the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations, including Social Security and Medicare benefits, military salaries, interest on the national debt, tax refunds, and other payments. The debt limit does not authorize new spending commitments. It simply allows the government to finance existing legal obligations that Congresses and presidents of both parties have made in the past. Failing to increase the debt limit would have catastrophic economic consequences.

    It would cause the government to default on its legal obligations – an unprecedented event in American history. That would precipitate another financial crisis and threaten the jobs and savings of everyday Americans – putting the United States right back in a deep economic hole, just as the country is recovering from the recent recession. Congress has always acted when called upon to raise the debt limit. Since 1960, Congress has acted 78 separate times to permanently raise, temporarily extend, or revise the definition of the debt limit – 49 times under Republican presidents and 29 times under Democratic presidents. In the coming weeks, Congress must act to increase the debt limit. Congressional leaders in both parties have recognized that this is necessary. Recently, however, a number of myths about this issue have begun to surface.

  • RT December 5, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Here is an analogue worth considering: When a ship runs aground, regardless of the circumstances for the grounding, the commanding officer (analogous to the president) is always responsible. Neither division officers nor department heads (analogous to people in congress) have that same level of accountability. That is a fact of life in the world of leadership.

    In the current federal crisis, popular opinion about who might be or is not responsible for the ship’s grounding is simply irrelevant. Of course, popular opinion cares little about the facts of life in leadership. Any observer of recent polls can figure that out.

    As for the realities of running aground, we on the ship might want to think about going into survival mode. When the flooding begins, and when the ship begins to sink, the blame game will be irrelevant. I have a feeling that the CO will escape culpability, and division officers and departments heads will be sacrificed in the arena of public opinion.

    The bottom line is this: Ladies and gentlemen…please don your life-jackets and begin gathering at the life-boats.

  • r. cothran December 5, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Aren’t they now framing it as more of a ‘fiscal slope’?… this situation is absolutely incredulous.

    1) I say 2-1 for expense reductions to revenue increase (Simpson-Bowles).

    2) Instead of raising the SS age, reduce the benefit by some factor for the individual for each year the individual has an income greater than say $250,000 (that seems to be a popular number). Reserve the majority of SS for low and moderate income individuals…

    3) Same as #2 for Medicare.

    4) Acknowledge that given the massive numbers involved there is only one true remedy… substantial economic growth (which will innately increase tax revenues while decreasing entitlement spending). The spending cuts and tax increases being suggested (by both sides of the aisle… including President Obama) will only have limited impacts on the overall budget deficits.

    5) Stop using the ridiculous and overtly misleading campaign slogan ‘the wealthy need to pay their fair share’… they are paying more than their fair share. Perhaps, replace it with a more honest slogan ‘the wealthy already pay a great deal, but, we need them to pay a little more in this time of need’.