The American people have survived yet another divisive election. The constant barrage of negative campaign ads has ended, only to be replaced with our next great challenge; the fiscal cliff. Early next year, a series of mandatory cuts to government spending are scheduled to occur automatically, unless Congress and the President can come to some sort of agreement, and soon.
The nation’s fiscal outlook presents the Election Day winners with only two choices, according to Concord Coalition Executive Director Robert L. Bixby: calamity or compromise.
“The Concord Coalition urges compromise,” he writes in a new blog post. “That must begin immediately as the two parties negotiate a responsible alternative to the ‘fiscal cliff’ -- a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that will hit with such suddenness that it could throw the still-fragile economy back into recession.”
Elected officials, Bixby says, must address the long-term, structural imbalance between spending and taxes in the federal budget. But to avoid damaging the economic recovery, the deficit-reduction plan should be phased in, as proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin panels.
Bixby also warns that solutions will be impossible if both parties “retreat to their partisan corners and stubbornly insist that compromise is only something for the other side to do and that any calamity is only the other side’s fault.” The American people, he says, have sent them back to Washington to work together.
The full blog can be found here: http://concordcoalition.org/tabulation/election-winners-must-choose-between-fiscal-calamity-and-compromise