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Hitting the debt ceiling face first

College Republicans By Amber Qalagari Columnist

There is a lot of troubling talk in the news about a looming “fiscal cliff” that America is close to falling off. Is this more political jargon or does our country face a serious economic threat? The fiscal cliff refers to the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which include ending the Bush Tax Cuts at the end of this year as well as hitting the debt ceiling. Basically, the federal government will lose its ability to borrow money, and citizens’ taxes will go up. Bad news all around.The White House is under gridlock as Democrats and Republicans struggle to work through a solution. Both sides of the spectrum agree that “falling off” the fiscal cliff will hurt the growth of our economy if a decision on a new budget is not achieved.

The Obama administration has just released its plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. This plan will raise taxes on high earners by 1.6 trillion dollars over the next decade, limit tax deductions for high earners, raise the debt ceiling and increase stimulus spending to 50 billion dollars.

Republicans are outraged by Obama’s plans. House Speaker, republican John Boehner called Obama’s deal a “non-serious proposal.” Obama offers no cuts in spending; he even proposes an increase, with no entitlement reform. This is all on top of the one trillion dollar tax hike which goes against the no tax pledge instigated by George H.W. Bush.

Why are Republicans so against raising taxes on the wealthy? It hinders job growth, which limits our country’s economy from expanding. Half of those considered “wealthy” are in fact small businesses. These businesses may potentially receive a significantly higher tax rate that not only hinders their ability to create new jobs, but also forces them to administer layoffs.

“I am ready and able, and willing and excited, to go ahead and get this issue resolved in bipartisan fashion so that American families, American businesses have some certainty going into next year,” said President Obama. Oh, really? That plan which goes against every republican principal definitely sounds like a bipartisan compromise.

Republicans have a different opinion on how to avoid the impending fall off of the fiscal cliff. Their plan focuses on cutting spending instead of raising taxes. As Reagan once said, “We don’t have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven’t taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.” Since Reagan’s time the deficit has multiplied by 16. Do we need to have a Greece-like economy for democrats to realize that taxing the rich just isn’t working?

With less than a month left before the cliff is reached, Republicans and Democrats need to work together to find a compromise. Compromise seems to be a word the Obama administration does not understand. Democrats are going to have to learn bipartisanship requires sacrifice from both sides before time runs out and our country suffers the consequences.

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