Our View: President got his tax hikes
Tuesday night after the House of Representatives passed compromise legislation to halt the nation’s dive off the so-called fiscal cliff, President Obama called for returning the nation to sound financial footing through a “balanced approach.”
Well, after getting a bill raising tax rates on the wealthiest Americans and making other tax adjustments that together will raise more than $600 billion in revenues over 10 years, it’s time to see the president advocate for that “balance” he was talking about. It’s time for the president to stop the uncontrolled spending, and he’ll have ample opportunity as the federal government moves toward its next fiscal showdown over the debt ceiling.
The fiscal cliff compromise legislation ended up being a tax bill. It didn’t address the federal government’s march toward financial disaster because of its repetitive spending and borrowing. Instead, the legislation delayed any significant spending cuts for two months.
But the nation’s insatiable appetite for greenbacks must be stopped — beginning now — in order for the nation to maintain fiscal solvency. Congress and the president simply cannot wait two months to identify and enact spending cuts during discussions about the national debt ceiling. In legislation that generated the fiscal cliff panic, more than $100 billion in cuts were identified. Surely at least some of those reductions are candidates now for reducing spending. And certainly, there are plenty of additional areas in the federal government ripe for spending reductions.
President Obama and members of Congress speak also of tax reform. Obama and House Speaker John Boehner considered such during fiscal cliff discussions when they examined the possibility of eliminating some tax breaks and/or loopholes for specific groups, businesses or industries. Certainly, tax reform talk includes such examination.
But we suggest tax reform discussion also include the question of whether tax codes should be used to spur special interests, such as development of alternative energy forms. For example, the fiscal cliff compromise includes a tax credit for production of wind, solar and other renewable energy and another related to electric motorcycles. Now, we’re all for development of those, but should tax codes be used to promote a particular industry, business idea or special interest policy?
The new Congress and President Obama have plenty of work to do over the next few months in seeking sound financial footing for the nation. And again we say, spending reductions are the key.