More Members of Congress Threaten to Take Economy Over the Fiscal Cliff

Nov 26, 2012

Politico reports that some Members of Congress seem to have little problem with letting the fiscal cliff’s scheduled tax increases and automatic spending cuts go into effect if they don’t get their way.

  • Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR): “If the Republicans can’t see their way to significant additional revenues targeted toward the people who are best off and targeted toward passive income and other things like that, then we’re better off going over the cliff and readdressing this with a better Congress in January.”
  • Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT): “I favor an agreement before Jan. 1, but I’m skeptical that our leadership may be able to reach one. If it’s necessary to wait to get a good deal, let’s do that.”

They’re following Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) who in July declared that it would be acceptable to go over the cliff, and repeated that threat a few weeks ago.’s Ed Morrissey points out that no good will happen should taxes go up:

If those rates hit at the beginning of the year, they will act immediately to depress consumer spending, as families have to plan for a much larger tax bite and start sheltering cash.  That will result in layoffs and investment flight, starting a cycle of recession and perhaps worse if allowed to pick up steam.

With the threat of a recession real, this rhetoric isn’t helpful.

Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), the House’s top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee disagrees with this talk. He told Politico, that not crafting a deal by the end of the year is “such a bad idea that we ought to do it now.”

According to a CNN/ORC International poll, most American’s agree with Rep. Levin. A USA Today/Gallup poll found a similar result.

Instead of tossing around threats, Congress and the White House need to be constructive and to come to a deal by the end of the year. And as U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue has said, such a deal should include increased domestic energy production to boost economic growth and generate new revenue.

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