The manufactured drama is one-half over, and Rep. John Duncan voted to raise taxes on every American. So did his tea party pals Roe, Fleischmann, DesJarlais, Black and Blackburn. Also Cooper, a Democrat (sort of). What a bunch of hypocrites.
Cohen, also a Democrat, was the only Tennessee Representative to vote for the tax cut. Sens. Alexander and Corker also voted for the tax cut.
There was no action on automatic spending cuts agreed to in a July 2011 budget deal that set the clock ticking on the "fiscal cliff" and triggered automatic tax increases on Jan. 1st. Many economists believe that the automatic tax increases and spending cuts would push the U.S. back into a recession.
Many economists also agree that our debt is not sustainable. And most people paying attention agree that the only way to fix it is to raise taxes and cut spending. Taxing the wealthy won't get it done, but it's a good start and at least makes our tax system more progressive.
Eventually there will have to be across the board tax increases. We should also eliminate the the cap on Social Security payroll taxes. (This latest deal at least eliminates the irresponsible Social Security payroll tax cut.) We should also start making corporations pay their fair share and crack down on offshore tax dodges.
There will also have to be significant cuts in discretionary federal spending until we pay off the bill for Bush's lost decade of irresponsible Republican spending on senseless wars and tax cuts. Most of those spending cuts will likely have to come from defense, which lines the pockets of Congress so don't hold your breath.
The Republican plan is to eliminate Medicare and Social Security, which are earned benefits that hard-working Americans already pay for.
We have the most irresponsible and incompetent Congress in modern history. The 2014 elections should be interesting.
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