The optimism expressed early in the week on both sides of Washington’s political aisle for a deal to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff, lamentably, has waned.
If last November’s failure of the “supercommittee” to reach a grand bargain to reduce the federal deficit taught us anything, it is that we can’t always count on Congress in the face of crisis.
The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction’s lack of compromise set up the coming Jan. 2 deadline for ending Bush-era tax breaks and triggering $109 billion in automatic spending cuts — unless an alternative plan is forged.
And lacking such a grand bargain, an army of experts seems to agree the economy will suffer, possibly pushing us back into recession.
Senator-elect Joe Donnelly, D-Granger, and his Republican colleagues, Indiana Sen. Dan Coats and Michigan’s 6th District Rep. Fred Upton, earlier this week each acknowledged the urgency of settling the matter.
Each side is making good arguments the other should consider.
It’s troubling that some members of each party are sticking to their talking points and not offering concessions they could accept for the broader good.
Everybody outside of Congress appears to favor a combination of revenue hikes and spending cuts.
Let’s hope that Donnelly, Coats and Upton — and every other member of the two states’ congressional delegations — do what voters have said clearly this year they expect from them: facilitate solutions to get the United States going again. A crucial step is agreement on the budget by Dec. 31.