Archived Story

Compromise key to avoid ‘fiscal cliff’

Published 12:00am Sunday, November 18, 2012

For more than a year Congress has taken an approach of “why solve today what can be pushed off until tomorrow,” hence the looming so-called “fiscal cliff” the country could plummet off if a greater commitment to compromise doesn’t take hold.

But, based on Friday’s meeting between Senate and House leaders and President Barack Obama, all parties may finally be ready to put politics aside and start finding a middle ground on the billions of automatic spending cuts and expiration of income tax breaks that are set for the end of the year.

Many Americans may believe this is really not their problem and doesn’t have anything to do with them.

They couldn’t be more wrong.

Both the cuts and the expiration of tax cuts could hurt the average citizen and economists warn might throw us back into a recession.

Democrats remain adamant that any plan must include the wealthy pickings up more of what is deemed to be their share of taxes. This is certainly a legitimate argument when you look at the tax rates paid by the wealthiest Americans compared to what is paid by the average citizen.

Republicans insist that any plan must include reform of entitlement programs, also a legitimate concern in order to ensure they remain solvent for years to come and aren’t being abused.

Much work remains to be done but for the first time in months, it seems that a possible solution is on the horizon.

This is what the American people want and what the economy needs.

  • indieVoter

    Mick, of course you’re right about secession in the 19th century and that led up to the Civil War. While I hope for a more rational solution, there are some interesting considerations if the states south of Tennessee and as far west as Texas (or maybe AZ) would leave the United States.

    First of all, we’d save a ton of money by not having to send FEMA down there several times every year to service the states in our hurricane belt. They’d also be on their own as far as national defense…they’re not taking half our military if they decide to take their ball and go home. They can start over, as they seem to want to do.

    To their benefit, they’ll have some key resources like petroleum and vacation destinations. They would be strong in agriculture. Then again, we have coal and natural gas in the states not wanting to secede so I think we’d be fine.

    Frankly, a lot of the red states in the south wanting to secede are very poor and for every dollar they put into the national coffers, they get more than $1.50 back…a lot more for some.

    I think they’d have to have some sort of organized process, possibly including some one-time funding, for people who live in the north but want to join the seceding states to do so…and visa versa.

    By the way, Mick, you spoke of the “solid south” for the Democratic party in days gone by. Do you know what the one issue was that caused the solid south to be lost and, ultimately, become a republican stronghold?

    It was desegregation.

    White democrats in the south didn’t want the white boys and girls mixing with the black boys and girls in schools.

    While I’d hate to see this come to fruition, maybe it’d be better to let the “red” folks have their chunk of land and make whatever rules they want. Heck, they could even make it a legal requirement to go to church 3 times a week if they want.

    This is an issue that could be discussed in a lot more depth, but I’ll leave it at that for now.

    Take care Mick.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Billco, I respect your take on this but I think Obama is definitely going to raise taxes on the highest bracket…or at the very least on millionaires. He ran on that. He wants to raise it from its current 36% up to the 39.6% rate they had under Clinton. Obama was very clear on this policy during the campaign so, given that and the fact that he won, he feels that he has a mandate on that one.

    I do agree that the rich have way too much sway in putting people in office. I wish we’d get comprehensive campaign reform to change that.

    As for young lives being ruined, absolutely I agree. Like I said I don’t do it myself. I’d only say that just as many young lives were ruined by alcohol which is legal, regulated and taxed. My prediction is that, after Washington and Colorado legalized recreational cannabis, Obama will give a statement that no more federal dollars will be spent via the DEA on marijuana interdiction. Even that will save us some money and help balance the budget.

    Billco, I respect both the content and the tone of your comment. I hope we see more people come here with a friendly and intelligent attitude. Thanks!

    (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      Forgot one thing. If the DEA is given the mandate to drop marijuana interdiction nationwide and this issue is pushed back to states’ rights, I think we’ll have legal, recreational marijuana in 15-20 states by 2016. Eliminating the “DEA fear” will embolden more states to follow the example of Washington and Colorado.

      I’m not saying that’s a good thing, but if it’s done along the same lines as tobacco it could be a big thing for the economy. It could create a lot of jobs and raise a lot of tax revenue. Just a thought. After all, people will do what people will do anyway. We may as well be practical.

      (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    indie; Didn’t these states and they’re Democratic leaders try to secede back in the 1860′s failing in the attempt? Do you think they have a better chance today?

    (Report comment)

  • BILLCO

    Indie obama is not going to tax the super rich, who do you think puts these people in office? We don’t, they won’t bite the hands that feed them. As for pot, you ever think how many young kids life has been ruined for just smoking a joint? the law has ghanged somewhat, but a police record follows them all their life. I don’t do alcohol or drugs, but idon’t see the difference in the two, they should legalize the pot or outlaw the alcohol.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    C’mon man! Where’s all the discussion at???

    Obama will never run for office again. There’s no big election right around the corner. Why don’t some of you “activists” get back on here now that we can all talk like adults.

    Ohio is “WHERE IT’S AT” in Presidential elections and, who knows, maybe someone out there reads some of the stuff here. That would be especially true if we talked about real ideas, in a mature way, and moved on without name-calling and all that stuff.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Mick, what is your take on those southern states from Texas over to Florida who are getting petitions to secede from the United States? Also on the list with 30K or more signatures are states like Alabama, Mississipi and so forth.

    I have an opinion. I’d like to hear yours.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    On a bipartisan note, I’ve got to say that Chris Christie has at least gotten my attention. His recent turn to “sanity over partisanship” has impressed me and, if it turns out not to be an act, he will get serious consideration from me as a candidate in 2016.

    More specifically, he needs to run on his own good ideas for America…not just rolling back things done from 2000-2008. If he can pull that off, and present some great ideas, I’m very interested.

    He comes off as a little of a bully, the tough-guy wanna be, but then again so did Ronald Reagan. Sometimes it’s good to have a “tough guy” as long as it’s balanced by sanity so he’s not the George W Bush version of tough (which gets us into expensive and unnecessary wars, among other things).

    (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      “not just rolling back things done from 2000-2008.

      Meant to say 2009-2016. Yes, getting old is an itch with a capital b…lol

      (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Now that the election is over and, having run largely on putting the top tax bracket where it was under Clinton, there’s been some talk about “soaking the rich” and so forth. Here are some interesting facts that may calm some of these concerns. In America:

    1. The top 1% owns 34.6% of all wealth
    2. The next richest 4% owns 27.3% of all wealth
    3. The bottom 40% own 0.2% of all wealth
    4. The next 20% own 4% of all wealth

    This means the bottom 60% of all Americans, as measured by wealth, own only 4.2% of our nation’s wealth.

    It also means the top 5% own 61.9% of all the wealth.

    Now there are a hundred ways I could go with these facts but I’m just submitting them for your consideration. It looks to me like there’s been “class warfare” for LOOOOOOONG time, and the middle class lost.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    indie; My knowledge of Marijuana and it’s use is rather limited. At the present time I feel it should be legalized. We tried prohibition (alcohol) once and it did not work. I also understand that it (marijuana) can be used for health purposes. I have respect for the distinguished Senator from the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Randal Howard Paul. He also has a Medical License. I forgive him for being a member of the Tea Party. I know Kentucky grows tons of Tobacco but I did not realize they grew that much Marijuana. They also make pretty good Bourbon and Moonshine.

    (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      Fair enough. I have a new comment coming on a moment. Just finishing it up. It’s kind of enlightening, to me at least.

      (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      I’m not really “for” any of the stuff you mentioned coming out of KY, Mick, but I think it should all be legal…controlled…and taxed.

      Add that revenue to the money no longer wasted in interdiction, jailing and court costs (for pot cases) and that would be a huuuuuuge (prop to Trump) boost to our budget-balancing efforts.

      (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    What about bracing for victory?

    Setting aside your personal feelings and predictions, would you not only brace…but embrace…it it all our men and women in DC happen to do a great job over the next 4 years?

    The other option would be to take any success, any progress and somehow find a way to redefine it as a loss?

    Which camp are you in?

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    As I have said before, inevitability has caught up with America. We’ve run out of options, more or less, and it is pay-up time.

    In the long run it might not be such a bad idea, at least for the Americans of the future, if we current Americans just step back and allow the crash to happen. Yes, it will hurt, but it’s going to hurt anyway!

    If you’ve ever taken a spill, a fall, you probably remember that second at which your mind understood that you were, indeed, falling and that you would, indeed, hit the floor hard, and there was absolutely nothing you could do about it. Remember that illuminating moment? That’s the same moment your survival instinct kicked in and your body prepared for the impact as best it could. But—it still hurt, right?

    When one takes a deep breath, and looks at our situation with clear eyes and clear mind, that’s where we are in America today.

    May I be so bold as to suggest that we all brace for impact?———J.D.Longstreet

    (Report comment)

  • mikehaney

    Much work remains to be done but for the first time in months, it seems that a possible solution is on the horizon.
    ———————-
    Yea, right. Federal Reserve, inflation,national debt, middle east about to blow, Obambi,to name a few.
    Hey man, pass me the joint.

    (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Mick, I’d be interested in hearing your take on this breaking story. I know how you feel about certain intoxicants, but this is new ground….
    ————————————————–

    Sen. Rand Paul: States Should Be Allowed To Legalize Marijuana
    Nov 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

    “er on Nov 20, 2012 at 10:36 am

    Since two states passed ballot initiatives legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, the logistical question remains of exactly how federal officials will respond, when it is still illegal federally. Republican and Democratic lawmakers, including Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), have urged the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency to back down from enforcement in Washington and Colorado.

    In an interview with ABC, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said he does not favor federal legalization of marijuana, but finds its legal penalties too harsh:

    “States should be allowed to make a lot of these decisions,” Paul says. “I want things to be decided more at a local basis, with more compassion. I think it would make us as Republicans different.” [...]

    “I think for example we should tell young people, ‘I’m not in favor of you smoking pot, but if you get caught smoking pot, I don’t want to put you in jail…”

    ————————————————–

    It’s regretful that I have to even say this, but I don’t use the stuff personally. Just wondering what your take is on this story and the movement that’s started already…

    (Report comment)

    • indieVoter

      And is this just Rand Paul seeing the potential revenue for his home state, which grows a ton of that stuff???

      (Report comment)

  • indieVoter

    Sometimes I just want to walk into the light. Many times, in fact.

    (Report comment)

  • mickakers

    A light at the end of the tunnel? Very possible. Reality may be setting in.

    (Report comment)

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