'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
The "fiscal cliff" debate in Washington has been cast as a choice between runaway Democratic spending and draconian Republican cuts, but no matter who wins the argument, both parties' tax plans add to the deficit — by a minimum of $4.3 trillion through 2022, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Failure by Congress' debt-cutting supercommittee to recommend $1.2 trillion in savings by Wednesday is supposed to automatically trigger spending cuts in the same amount to accomplish that job.
When President Obama rolls out his 2012 budget Monday, it will sound the starting gun on a three-month sprint that will determine just how serious Washington is about translating its cost-cutting rhetoric into serious action to reduce staggering deficits.
While Democrats and Republicans say they are ready to begin filling in the nation's deep borrowing hole, budget hawks remain skeptical of lawmakers' ability to fulfill their vow, given that many of them did the digging in the first place.
President Obama's tax-cut compromise with Republicans should provide a powerful boost to the economy next year by putting a lot of extra cash in consumers' pockets, and was cheered on Wall Street on Tuesday.
The leaders of President Obama's independent deficit commission said Tuesday they'll delay a vote on their recommendations until the end of the week in order to give members a chance to digest their revamped plan.
"There is a risk that if you do too much, too fast, you actually put us back into recession and that makes things harder. It is a delicate balancing act that is going to be difficult to get right," she said.
Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, said lawmakers are in a tight spot.