News Column

McConnell Warns of 'Fiscal Cliff' Eminence

Nov 6 2012 10:00PM

Jack Latta, The Floyd County Times, Prestonburg, Ky.

In the wake of Tuesday's election, Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell offered congratulations to President Barack Obama on Wednesday, while urging a need to address the quickly approaching 'fiscal cliff.'

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell spoke from Washington D.C. Wednesday offering his well wishes to both the President and his challenger Mitt Romney. "I extend my sincere congratulations to President Obama and Vice President Biden on their hard-fought victory, and I would like to thank Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for running a great campaign based on concrete solutions to the tremendous economic challenges we continue to face."

McConnell says that Obama's re-election is an act of the U.S. people to give him more time to fix the things he said he would.

"The American people did two things: they gave President Obama a second chance to fix the problems that even he admits he failed to solve during his first four years in office, and they preserved Republican control of the House of Representatives," said McConnell. "The voters have not endorsed the failures or excesses of the President's first term, they have simply given him more time to finish the job they asked him to do together with a Congress that restored balance to Washington after two years of one-party control."

Of paramount importance in the coming weeks will be how the President and congress handle the quickly approaching 'fiscal cliff.' Several laws are set to change at midnight December 31, 2012 including an end to last year's temporary payroll tax cuts (resulting in a 2% tax increase for workers), the end of certain tax breaks for businesses, shifts in the alternative minimum tax that would take a larger bite, the end of Bush era tax cuts from 2001-2003, and the beginning of taxes related to President Obama's health care law. At the same time, the spending cuts agreed upon as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011 will begin to go into effect, which would amount to deep cuts in over 1,000 government programs -- including the defense budget and Medicare. Due to this massive economic shift, the one bright spot incurred by going over the cliff would cause a reduction in federal deficit by over $500 billion in the first year. Though many economists believe that the U.S. economy is still to fragile to absorb such a blow and would lead to a second depression.

McConnell says that now is the time for the President to propose solutions that will meet with bi-partisan approval. "To the extent he wants to move to the political center, which is where the work gets done in a divided government, we'll be there to meet him half way," says McConnell. "That begins by proposing a way for both parties to work together in avoiding the 'fiscal cliff' without harming a weak and fragile economy, and when that is behind us work with us to reform the tax code and our broken entitlement system."

McConnell adds that Republicans are eager to hear the President's proposals on these issues, and get to doing the peoples work.

Distributed by MCT Information Services

Source: (c) 2012 The Floyd County Times

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