By Jessica Chau
Today we have a letter to the editor about Congressman Rehberg of Montana that makes a lot of sense, and a piece on the fiscal cliff and the possible scenarios to avoid it.
The Montana Standard, George H. Waring, 10/3/2012
What was Congressmen Rehberg thinking when he voted yet again in August to extend the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2 percent? He certainly wasn’t thinking about middle class Montanans bearing the burden of budget cuts. And he wasn’t thinking about reducing the deficit; in fact, the Bush tax cuts have added over a trillion dollars to our federal deficit in the past decade.
In reality, only a tiny fraction – just 2.4 percent – of Montana taxpayers benefit from the Bush tax break. These wealthy few have taxable income averaging well-over $650,000 per year.
Given the federal government’s projected deficit of $1.2 trillion, it seems only fair and rational that a conservative Republican like Rehberg would want to finally end the Bush tax cuts.
He has a shot to make it right. When the lame duck session of Congress meets after the election to address our growing national debt, Congressman Rehberg can defend the other 97 percent of us middle class taxpayers in Montana by ending the tax giveaway to wealthy millionaires who don’t need it.
Charlotte Observer, Editorial Board, 10/3/2012
We’re approaching sweaty palm territory with the Fiscal Cliff – the day Americans face the expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and an increase in the payroll tax rate, not to mention $100 billion in “sequestration” cuts to defense and federal programs in the next year alone. That day of devastation is Jan. 1, and as we get closer, you’ll surely be hearing about the horror of those cuts from Democrats and Republicans alike, along with countless news items and (ahem) editorials bemoaning the economic disaster the cliff will bring.
Except for this: That kind of fiscal armageddon isn’t going to happen.
As stubborn and dysfunctional as our elected officials in Washington can be, they are not – we think – economically and politically suicidal. While a handful of voices think the fiscal cliff might not be such a bad thing in the long-term, the vast majority of our leaders understand that our economy is too fragile to handle that blow. Raising taxes on 90 percent of Americans while hacking at defense and social programs could send us spiraling back into a recession. That’s what the non-partisan Tax Policy Center said Monday, echoing previous predictions from others.
So the question Americans face isn’t whether we’re going to avoid the cliff, but how would we prefer to?