(Image source: MichelleFrantom)

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

Amid “fiscal cliff” negotiations, there’s talk on both sides of diving off the cliff: That is, just letting the severe spending cuts and tax hikes happen.

CURRENT TV’S BILL PRESS: “I hear more and more Democrats saying what the hell, just go off the cliff.”

The thinking, at least among some Democrats, is that the cuts set to take effect January 1st — in addition to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts — would be better than an alternate deal in which Republicans force bigger cuts to entitlements. As Arizona Democrat Representative Raul Grijalva tells CNBC...

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D-AZ), VIA CNBC: “I think it would be bad ... for us to accept that Social Security will be changed, that benefits will be reduced, that Medicare will be changed, benefits will be reduced, that we'll throw Medicare under the bus.”

That’s because amid negotiations, some Republicans have said they’d be willing to increase tax revenue — a key demand of the other side — only if Democrats are willing to talk about entitlement spending. But in a piece for the News & Observer, columnist Rick Martinez notes, the tax hikes could raise some $400 billion a year. And the spending cuts of the sequester would see $100 billion cut from spending.

So when it comes to the deficit, Martinez writes... [Falling off the cliff] isn’t ideal, but it’s the only way to inject fiscal discipline back into the federal government. … It’s an opportunity to jump toward economic sanity...”

But if that’s what a vocal minority is saying — it’s a message that doesn’t appear to be resonating with the White House. Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney left no room for cliff divers.

JAY CARNEY, VIA POLITICO: “We believe that the best answer for the economy is to reach that compromise before the end of the year.”

And consider this: the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s warning that the existing combination of cuts and tax hikes could throw the economy back toward recession and raise the unemployment rate.

This week President Obama will hold public events aimed at pressuring lawmakers to reach a deal.

Would Going Off the 'Fiscal Cliff' Be So Bad?

by Christina Hartman
2
Transcript
Nov 28, 2012

Would Going Off the 'Fiscal Cliff' Be So Bad?

(Image source: MichelleFrantom)

BY CHRISTINA HARTMAN

Amid “fiscal cliff” negotiations, there’s talk on both sides of diving off the cliff: That is, just letting the severe spending cuts and tax hikes happen.

CURRENT TV’S BILL PRESS: “I hear more and more Democrats saying what the hell, just go off the cliff.”

The thinking, at least among some Democrats, is that the cuts set to take effect January 1st — in addition to the expiration of the Bush tax cuts — would be better than an alternate deal in which Republicans force bigger cuts to entitlements. As Arizona Democrat Representative Raul Grijalva tells CNBC...

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D-AZ), VIA CNBC: “I think it would be bad ... for us to accept that Social Security will be changed, that benefits will be reduced, that Medicare will be changed, benefits will be reduced, that we'll throw Medicare under the bus.”

That’s because amid negotiations, some Republicans have said they’d be willing to increase tax revenue — a key demand of the other side — only if Democrats are willing to talk about entitlement spending. But in a piece for the News & Observer, columnist Rick Martinez notes, the tax hikes could raise some $400 billion a year. And the spending cuts of the sequester would see $100 billion cut from spending.

So when it comes to the deficit, Martinez writes... [Falling off the cliff] isn’t ideal, but it’s the only way to inject fiscal discipline back into the federal government. … It’s an opportunity to jump toward economic sanity...”

But if that’s what a vocal minority is saying — it’s a message that doesn’t appear to be resonating with the White House. Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney left no room for cliff divers.

JAY CARNEY, VIA POLITICO: “We believe that the best answer for the economy is to reach that compromise before the end of the year.”

And consider this: the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s warning that the existing combination of cuts and tax hikes could throw the economy back toward recession and raise the unemployment rate.

This week President Obama will hold public events aimed at pressuring lawmakers to reach a deal.

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