The political and economic ramifications are too big for Washington to let the large tax increases and spending cuts take effect. But this doesn't necessarily mean lawmakers will craft a decisive solution to the nation's fiscal woes.
Republican congressional leaders and President Obama sharply disagree over how to deal with the impending “fiscal cliff.” But a successful plan shouldn’t be that hard to put in place. Here are six ways Washington can avoid the “fiscal cliff.”
Since the election, House Speaker John Boehner (R) has had some conciliatory-sounding words about the need to avoid the 'fiscal cliff.' While he's said 'new revenue' might be part of the solution, it's problematic to assume he means higher taxes on the rich.
In response to a reporter's question during his first press conference after reelection, President Obama says he aims to curb the effects of climate change while growing the economy.
Any 'grand bargain' to avert the fiscal cliff should contain a starting trigger that begins spending cuts and any middle-class tax increases only when the economy is strong enough, Reich writes.
By raising taxes on wealthy Americans, eliminating breaks for oil and gas companies and other measures, Obama could meet the goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade, Reich writes.
Democrats and Republicans are now maneuvering to maximize their bargaining leverage when they sit down next year to decide whether or not to increase taxes on wealthy Americans, Reich writes.