- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
- Obama ‘birther’ theories float, as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- U.S. drone faulted for killing 14 ‘innocent civilians’ at Yemen wedding
- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: ‘Fiscal cliff’ solution?
With President Obama and House Republicans claiming dueling mandates from the election, it is hard to see how the two sides will reach a deal averting the looming “fiscal cliff” (“Uneasy fix to ‘fiscal cliff’ in works,” Web, Sunday). Constraining tax rates and spending is insufficient; our leaders need to think outside the box to strike a deal and save the economy.
The GOP wants to stop $55 billion in defense cuts, while the Democrats want to stop $55 billion in domestic cuts, but we need to cut spending, period. Thus, the cuts to both programs should be sliced in half, leading to a more manageable $28 billion in reductions.
Next, Mr. Obama should accept an extension of all George W. Bush-era tax rates, including those for the wealthiest Americans, giving both sides a full year to pass meaningful tax reform. After getting their way on this issue, Republicans should agree to a framework on immigration reform in which illegal immigrants who have been here 10 years or more qualify for legal-resident status and their children can get citizenship in exchange for military service while we simultaneously secure the border. Passing this comprehensive bill would get the GOP a big win on taxes while Mr. Obama could claim victory on immigration reform.
It also would be a small down payment on the deficit through realistic spending cuts, and it could save the U.S. economy in the process. This would give Congress and the president all of 2013 to achieve meaningful entitlement reform and the tax code.
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By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
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