Senator Patty Murray Still Threatens to Take Economy Over the Fiscal Cliff
Remember back in July, when Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) had no qualms about going over the fiscal cliff and letting the economy get hit with massive tax increases and indiscriminant spending cuts? She didn’t back down on ABC News’ This Week, this past Sunday when she said that if there’s no agreement:
[W]e will reach a point at the end of this year where all the tax cuts expire and we'll start over next year. And whatever we do will be a tax cut for whatever package we put together. That may be the way to get past this.
Only in Washington can you claim that a reduction in tax increases is a “tax cut.” The small businesses who will reel from higher taxes won’t think they got a cut.
As we approach the cliff, there's more worry about how much damage will be done. In a report last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded that the European financial crisis and the fiscal cliff were the biggest threats to the world economy at the moment. The inability to come to an agreement on the fiscal cliff has created “further uncertainty, affecting business confidence,” according to the IMF.
The IMF urges Washington to find a long-term solution to our fiscal problems: “Failing to agree soon on a credible plan to put the federal debt on a sustainable path could exacerbate uncertainty and thereby detract from [economic] activity.”
A credible path should be a “Big Deal” (to use U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue’s words) that includes comprehensive tax reform, spending reform that tackles entitlements, and another component: revenue from increased domestic energy. The International Energy Agency projects that the United States will be the world’s top oil producer by 2020, making it an important part of any agreement.