Fiscal calamity approaching
by Alan Fram,
Now that House Speaker John Boehner has failed to persuade enough members of his own Republican caucus to support a proposal that would have raised taxes on a relative handful of the highest-earning Americans, it is likely that President Barack Obama will need to look to the Senate to avert the fiscal calamity that’s approaching like a runaway freight train. For the good of the nation, leaders there must rise to the challenge.
A week ago, it appeared that Boehner and the president were moving toward a deal that would increase revenues and rein in spending enough to avoid a series of massive, automatic and across-the-board tax hikes and expenditure cuts that many analysts fear will trigger a new recession….
But then Boehner abruptly stopped negotiating with the White House and focused on what he called Plan B, a budget package that would have raise taxes on Americans who earn $1 million or more a year. Presumably, he was trying to show Obama and other Democratic leaders that his caucus was willing to go only so far on taxes….
Since Obama and Boehner were within shouting distance of a deal to cut the deficit by $2 trillion over the next decade, there’s at least a chance the president can now reach an accord with leaders of the Senate before serious damage is done…
It is imperative that all sides return to Washington after Christmas ready to prove that they can indeed negotiate, compromise — and govern.
— Distributed by The Associated Press
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