We hear a lot about Congress and Obama working to find some elusive deal that could stave off the “fiscal cliff”, and occasionally we also hear about why we should to avoid it: According to the Congressional Budget Office, allowing the “cliff” to happen is likely to send the economy back into recession in 2013, and sharply increase unemployment.
What we don’t hear much about is that Congress can simply repeal the fiscal cliff, without any complicated deals.
“Sequestration” – the automatic spending cuts that start to take effect in January – is just a law passed by Congress in 2011. Congress can repeal it, and that alone would be enough to prevent a recession in 2013 according to the CBO report – even if all the Bush tax cuts expire.
Extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits would double the impact. Extending the Bush tax cuts on income below $250,000 would do even more (In contrast, extending the Bush tax cuts on higher income would, according to the CBO, have very little impact). But even if we did neither of those sensible things, just repealing sequestration would be much better than doing nothing. Neither Congressional Democrats nor Republicans actually like sequestration or want it to happen. So why do we hear so little in the news about that option?
I started a petition on change.org: Congress: Repeal the “fiscal cliff”.
Please sign it, re-post it, and send it on to others.