Pharos-Tribune

Opinion

November 27, 2012

OUR VIEW: Time to solve nation's fiscal crisis

Everyone seems to agree that it’s long past time for our nation’s leaders to come up with a plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff” of massive tax increases and spending cuts set to take effect next year.

We agree, that is, until we start talking specifics.

A coalition of business groups, for example, says it’s all for cutting spending, but it says raising tax rates is out of the question.

The homebuilding industry wants a deal, too, but it says it won’t tolerate even a small drop in the mortgage interest deduction, even as part of a broad, spread-the-pain package designed to tame the soaring debt.

And the American Association of Retired Persons says it’s absolutely against any cuts to Medicare and Social Security. The organization opposes the notion of slowing the cost-of-living formula for Social Security recipients, even if it’s part of a big, bipartisan compromise, and it says President Barack Obama ought to forget about the idea of raising Medicare’s eligibility age.

So much for the notion of shared sacrifice.

Congress and the White House face a Dec. 31 deadline to come up with a far-reaching deficit-reduction plan. If they fail, the government tips over the so-called fiscal cliff. Nearly everyone’s taxes will go up, and federal programs will be slashed.

Economists say the effect might mean another jolt to financial markets and maybe even a new recession.

In spite of the threat, the various interests seem far from settled on a solution.

An Associated Press story reports that it’s virtually every group for itself in Washington these days. Everyone’s scrambling to protect every penny of every tax break and government payout it now enjoys. It notes that the old adage, “Don’t tax thee, don’t tax me, tax the man behind the tree” was never more in vogue.

We all agree on the wisdom of compromise when we’re talking in the abstract, but when the talk turns to specific ideas that run counter to philosophies or bottom lines, we get a little less flexible.

Maybe it’s just too early to start thinking about making a deal. The big deadline, after all, is still more than a month away.

Still, it’s troubling to hear the talk on Sunday morning news programs that going over the proverbial cliff might not be so bad after all.

It’s time to start taking this threat seriously. It’s time to find a solution.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 25, 2014

  • FREY: Hero pilot still on a mission to save lives Ordinary people who live their lives, do something spectacular one day, and then embrace a great cause after retirement are tops in my book.Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger III is such an individual. He is the pilot who safely landed a US Airways airplan

    July 25, 2014

  • HAMILTON: Why incumbents keep getting reelected It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its approval rating. In June, a Gallup poll found members’ standing with the American people at a historic low for a mid

    July 24, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Write clear rules for vanity plate licenses We see vanity license plates regularly. Some are funny or thought-provoking. Others are just plain puzzling.One specialty plate backing autism research and support carries the heartfelt message “4MYSON.” Others are more prosaic, as in COLTFANZ.It’s c

    July 24, 2014

  • WILLIAMS: Four-legged family I have three pets. First, Paisley, a long-haired cream and tortoise Ragdoll cat. She’s the aristocracy in our group, compared to the rest of us, who are all blue collar folks. Her movements are slow and stately and her mien is gracious. She is by far

    July 24, 2014

  • Holly Sklar SKLAR: Small businesses want minimum wage increase If Congress actually listened to small business owners, the minimum wage would be going up. Instead, July 24 will mark five years without an increase since the federal minimum wage was set at $7.25 an hour in 2009.Small business livelihoods depend on

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KITCHELL: Reaction times change, but motorists don't Earlier this year, I came home one afternoon to find the worst accident on North Street I can ever recall.A bevy of police cars and four flatbed trucks were removing the pawns in an accident that damaged four vehicles. It was a bit unusual considerin

    July 23, 2014

  • OUR VIEW: Keeping insects under control curbs disease State health officials said last week mosquitoes in two northern Indiana counties tested positive for the West Nile virus, The Associated Press reported.The state health department said mosquitoes in Marshall and Pike counties were confirmed to have

    July 23, 2014

  • THEIR VIEW: Indiana's ethics laws in need of reform The Indiana State Ethics Commission’s recent approval of an agreement between the state inspector general and Tony Bennett settles the charges against the former state superintendent of schools.But the settlement raises more concerns about the loopho

    July 22, 2014

  • MARCUS: Tax simplification is no simple matter The governor and his select invitees to his closed tax conference last month praised simplifying Indiana’s tax code. It is an idea better loved by Americans than baseball, apple, pie or motherhood.There is no question that our national and state tax

    July 22, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.