By Hashim Arain
Over the past couple of months, a lot of talk in Washington has been fixated on one hot topic: the “Fiscal Cliff.” Essentially, this is an idea which is forcing politicians in Washington DC to address the long-term debt that the United States has accumulated over the past decade. The main purpose of this fiscal cliff is to create a federal budget, which will put the US on a sustained fiscal path. The deadline was New Year’s Day, and if a deal could not be established, then automatic spending cuts and tax increases would rise for Americans. Fortunately, Congress did come up with a last minute deal, barely passing the deadline.
According to CNN, President Obama wished to extend the infamous “Bush tax cuts” for the middle class, and raise taxes on the top 2% (wealthier Americans). However, Republicans wished to address the fiscal cliff by maintaining a focus on major cuts in spending for popular government programs such as Social Security and Medicare, something the Democrats highly disagree with. The Washington Times states that this deal put the Bush tax cuts in effect to individuals making at least $400,000 a year, and also on families which are making $450,000 or less. The current deal put automatic spending cuts and tax increases on hold until March, when the United States will endure another budget showdown.
Personally, I believe that this deal does not go deep enough to fully deal with our nation’s long-term deficit and debt problem. Our country needs a deal that will be able to address the future of our economic stability. I am in favor of the “grand bargain” type of deal. The Washington Post states that a grand bargain deal would include major changes to the United States tax code, as well as reduce spending by making cuts to Social Security and Medicare. This is better than the deal that was signed because it would make political parties on both sides make concessions to stances that they can’t seem to give up on.
What our country needs is a balanced and sensible solution to the long term debt problem. Politicians in Washington DC are forced to make tough choices, but they also must make compromises in order to fix a huge economic problem, like this one.
Sadly, the grand bargain deal has a slim chance of occurring, because of the partisanship and gridlock occurring. Congress must stop playing these political games and begin to get serious about the economic situation that is affecting everyone. I do not doubt that there will be many more budget showdowns to come in the months ahead, and Congress will discuss the same old issues that we have been hearing for these past few months. The public is sick and tired of hearing about the fighting and disagreements in Washington DC. Unless Congress gets its act together and takes the correct steps to fight this budget problem, the economic stability will only get worse for the United States from here on out.