With only eight days left before Bush-era tax cuts expire, Republican lawmakers appear ready to send the whole country over the “fiscal cliff”.
Unless Congressional action is taken before next Monday at midnight, tax increases totalling approximately $600 billion will take effect. The net result would be the US being dragged into another recession. The fallout from this would be felt globally.
To avoid this, Republicans would be required to compromise with Obama and the Democrats, who have agreed to extend the tax-cuts to everyone, expect those people making more than $1 million a year. Under the Democrats’ deal, less than 0.2 per cent of all Americans would have their taxes raised.
Republicans on Friday decided that was unreasonable. Instead of doing what’s right for the country, they have decided to dig in their heels and refuse to compromise. It’s the old GOP chant with a Kafkaesque twist: no new taxes, even if that means increased taxes for everyone.
Lawmakers have now abandoned the capital in disarray for the holidays. Obama has called for lawmakers to use this time to reflect on the severity of the situation.
Ideally, this would be the best to time to call for a non-partisan compromise for the best-interest of Americans and the world. Republicans have shown they have no interest in that. The only hope is that Republicans realise that cutting off your own nose to spite your face is no way to save an economy.