Fiscal cliff will require each to give something

Published 12:28am Saturday, November 17, 2012

Just when we let out a sigh of relief that the national elections were over, here comes the national media, breathlessly telling us that we are about to go over a fiscal cliff.

The relatively-newly coined term refers to a set of tax increases and spending cuts designed to reduce the budget deficit beginning in 2013. The actions were put into place by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Specifically, federal income, dividend and capital-gains tax rates increase Jan 1. Estate tax rises, too. And $110 billion will be cut from federal spending on defense and other domestic programs, the first of $1 trillion in cuts planned for the next decade.

The Congressional Budget Office — which isn’t prone to exaggeration and scare tactics — projects that the fiscal cliff would cause the economy to shrink by nearly 4 percent and most surely send us in to another recession.

There are difficult choices ahead for the Congress, to be sure. There are those who would say, “just postpone it.” But at some point, we have to begin to address our obese federal budget.

No special interest group – not seniors dependent upon Medicare, farmers enjoying subsidies, nor drivers who like the convenience of interstate travel – want to see what is important to us cut. Nor would anyone willingly increase his own taxes.

But the bottom line is that we have to start somewhere, and postponing the start of addressing this issue sends a dangerous message to world markets.

There are fierce debates ahead in Washington. Likely, each of us will have to give up something – be it a perk or a tax dollar – to get our national budget moving toward black.

You can contact our representatives in Washington to tell them how you feel at the numbers and addresses below, or visit their websites to email them.

 

Rep. Martha Roby

414 Cannon HOB

Washington, DC 20515

202-225-2901

 

Sen. Jeff Sessions

326 Russell SOB

Washington, DC 20510

202-224-4124

 

Sen. Richard Shelby

304 Russell SOB

Washington, DC 20510

202-224-5744

 

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