Fiscal cliff, more specifically sequestration, is ever looming
On January 2nd across-the-board reductions, known as a sequester, will be divided equally between defense and non defense spending. That is unless the “lame-duck” Congress can actually do their job and pass legislation preventing the fiscal cliff. The topic of the fiscal cliff has not been brought up predominantly in the election. However, there was a mention of it during the last presidential debate. President Obama stated the automatic spending cuts looming January “will not happen.”
President Obama did not say whether he had a specific proposal to avoid the $110 billion in cuts or if he merely was hopeful the dead-locked Congress would pass legislation. Republicans and Democrats alike oppose the trigger of the large spending cuts and the increases in taxes (for ALL Americans). Yet, both sides rather blame the other for the lack of progress. Actually, our Congress would rather go on vacation than deal with substantive issues.
I think both sides are to blame. As chronicled by Bob Woodward’s book “The Price of Politics,” the negotiations between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner were strained to say the least. Woodward writes that the President’s administration is the one who came up with the idea of a sequester. Furthermore, negotiations were abandoned shortly before last year’s fiscal deadline when President Obama asked Speaker Boehner for more revenue (i.e. taxes). Woodward goes on to say that in this case at least, the President’s leadership was absent. He does blame both sides, but points out that presidents of the past (most recently President Clinton) have been able to negotiate with the “other side.”
What I hope to accomplish with this post is simply to bring awareness to the state of affairs. Our politicians can blame each other all they want and they can say that this and that won’t happen. But like the adage states: “ACTIONS speak louder than WORDS.” So until I see some ACTUAL substantive progress as far as I’m concerned this has been a debacle of leadership of epic proportions.
What do you think?
Do you think Congress and the President will starve off the sequestration deadline?
*Here’s a link to a Washington Post blog that fact-checks that indeed the administration came up with the term “sequestration,” even though the president (in the last debate) stated Republicans came up with the idea. Washington Post Fact Check
Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate