Originally Published: November 24, 2012 9:58 p.m.
President Obama's decisive victory changes the economic debate. However, it seems that Speaker John Boehner wants to play chicken again with the pending tax-cut expirations and spending cuts. He says that Republicans will not consider tax increases for those earning more than $250,000. Don't the Republicans realize who won the election? The people have spoken and have rejected the idea of cutting taxes for the rich and rejected the idea that the deficit is something we have to tackle immediately.
Robert Reich, a public policy professor at the University of California Berkley and former senior economic adviser in Clinton's administration, says, "Our central challenge ... is not to reduce the budget deficit (immediately). It's to create more good jobs, grow the economy, and widen the circle of prosperity." Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize winning economist and economics professor at Princeton, says regarding the looming fiscal cliff, "...the looming combination of tax increases and spending cuts looks ...large enough to push America back into recession .... and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary ... because Republicans are trying, for the third time since he took office, to use economic blackmail to achieve a goal they lack the votes to achieve through the normal legislative process." Reich goes on to say, "Any 'grand bargain' on deficit reduction should contain a starting trigger-and that trigger should be when the economy can safely be ... at 6 percent unemployment and 3 percent economic growth for 2 consecutive quarters ... we need a larger and more buoyant middle class ... (and) that's why taxes must be increased on the wealthy, and the proceeds used to reduce the deficit over the long term, extend and enlarge the Earned Income Tax Credit, and invest in education."
I hope the Republicans will do what is right for America instead of what the billionaires are demanding.