Monday, December 10, 2012

Republicans & Democrats Make Progress In Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

As the deadline for solving the U.S. fiscal cliff nears, it appears that both President Obama and GOP leaders in the Congress are nearing a compromise. Frankly, I'm surprised they are reaching an agreement so early. After four long years of internal fighting, maybe the vast majority of the American people, who don't take sides in politics, will actually be able to see something get done in Washington, DC. That said, no agreement has been put to paper yet and no compromise has been voted on in the Congress.

The major sticking point between the two sides revolves around political ideology that has been embedded for decades. Many on the Republican side have taken a pledge not to increase taxes under any circumstance, while many Democrats have promised their constituents for years they will never increase the eligibility age to receive Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Those are the main battle lines the two parties do not want to cross. It appears now that the GOP is willing to raise taxes on Americans earning more than $250,000 per year. It also appears that democrats are ready to increasing the age when government benefits start at retirement. The framework for a grand bargain is taking shape. However, as we've seen in the past -anything can happen between now and the first of the year.

If Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement on the fiscal cliff, for the first time in decades something really important of a bipartisan nature will have been accomplished. Everyone of sound mind, understands well that in addition to tax increases on wealthier Americans - major cuts in government spending are also necessary. As the January 1 2013 deadline approaches, let us all hope that Members of Congress and President Obama do the right thing and put this great nation back on the path to prosperity.



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