Today U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan (PA-07) attended a bipartisan meeting with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson and others with the Fix the Debt Coalition to discuss the fiscal cliff - the dramatic budget cuts combined with stifling tax increases on nearly every American slated to take place on January 1, 2013. The group also discussed ways Republicans and Democrats can work together to avoid the fiscal cliff and strengthen our economy.
Former Senator Simpson and Mr. Bowles, President Clinton's former Chief of Staff, co-chaired President Obama's debt commission.
"The only way that we will solve the enormous challenge before us is to put partisanship aside and work together to make real progress for the American people," said Meehan. "I was one of 38 House members to support the Simpson-Bowles budget amendment, the only bipartisan budget proposal, which relies on spending restraint and new revenues to put our fiscal house in order. I also supported putting increased revenue on the table when I signed a letter with 100 of my colleagues urging the super committee to "go big' on a debt deal."
Meehan said he hopes President Obama will respond to the Republicans' proposal of increased revenues and pursue the balanced approach he says he supports. If an agreement is not reached, the fiscal cliff will mean the largest tax hike in American history, noting that it will cost 700,000 small business jobs, according to independent accounting firm Ernst and Young. Taxes will go up on the middle-class and the poorest Americans. College students, parents, families saving for college, seniors living on retirement savings will all face higher taxes. The average family will pay $4,100 more in taxes.
"I remain committed to working with Democrats and Republicans, as well as Senator Simpson and Mr. Bowles, to avoid the fiscal cliff and finally overcome the enormous challenges facing our country and middle-class families," said Meehan.