I’m reading a lot about what prominent Republicans in Congress are saying they’re willing to compromise on when it comes to avoiding toppling over the so-called “fiscal cliff” but not much from Democrats. Fox News reports on the Republicans who are talking openly about where they stand:
More congressional Republicans are breaking a long-standing pledge to oppose tax increases before returning to Washington on Monday to avert a looming fiscal crisis with a deal that increasingly appears impossible to reach without changes to the tax code.
The decades-old pledge from the Americans for Tax Reform group has been signed by 238 House members and 41 senators in this Congress and has essentially become inescapable for any Republican seeking statewide or national office over recent election cycles, especially in the Republican-controlled lower chamber.
New York Rep. Peter King and Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday they would break the pledge and accept tax changes to generate more revenue to curb the trillion-dollar federal deficit.
Their statements followed a similar one Thursday by Georgia Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss.
“I agree entirely with Saxby Chambliss,” King said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress. The world has changed, and the economic situation is different.”
The New York congressman said he was opposed to tax increases but that “everything should be on the table” when President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid try to broker a deal.
“I’m not going to prejudge it, and I’m just saying we should not be taking ironclad positions,” King added. “I have faith that John Boehner can put together a good package.”
Should Congress and the White House fail to reach an agreement, a $500 billion mix of federal cuts and unrelated tax increases would kick in January 2 — the result of lawmakers failing to reach a more measured approach to cutting the deficit and keeping the country from going over the so-called “fiscal cliff.”
The across-the-board cuts to the federal budget would equal more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.
Graham has suggested earlier that he would be open to changes in taxes, but repeated Sunday only if Democrats are willing to cut federal spending by scaling back entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security.
So far, I’m only hearing Senator Dick Dubin (D-IN) talking about how entitlement cuts should “be on the table” but that’s about it. Where are the Democrats coming forth as the Republicans are on where they stand? I’m not exactly happy with putting raising taxes on the table, but at least some in the GOP putting options out there for consideration.
The re-election of President Obama supposedly ushered in an era of “we must solve this problem now and we must do it together”, according to not only him and his party, but also his fawning admirers in the mainstream press. If that’s truly the case, it’s time for his side to put up or shut up on the issue of “bipartisanship” because if they don’t intend to reach out to the other side, we shouldn’t either. It’s about high time Democrats start announcing specific concessions they have in mind instead of making this all about what Republicans are hinting they might be willing to do.