Negotiations in Congress will proceed now that the fiscal cliff has been postponed until early next year. Negotiation means there will be a dialogue in order to reach an understanding on many issues, especially, according to Republicans, the debt.
The national debt can be lowered in two ways: cut spending and/or raise revenue. President Obama is willing to look at reforms to Social Security and Medicare and raise revenue, not by raising taxes, but by reforming the tax code. The Republicans, according to Grover Norquist, who is responsible for the "no raising taxes" pledge, want spending cuts but will consider tax reform only if it is "revenue neutral;" that is, no revenue increases. The President is willing to face the wrath of those who want no changes to entitlements while the Republicans, it seems, will not budge one inch on raising tax revenue. Does anyone think we can begin to solve our debt problem with more spending cuts, which have already hurt many people and will hurt many more, and not consider increased tax revenue by changing a tax code whereby some people and corporations pay little or no taxes?
If Republicans will not consider raising revenue in any way whatsoever, there can be no solution, and we just may go over that fiscal cliff.
Jack Strausser, Elysburg