House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) discussed the need to reach a balanced agreement to prevent the fiscal cliff and extend middle class tax cuts on CNBC's "Squawk Box" this morning. Below are excerpts and a link to the video.
"All I said yesterday was ... we need a balanced package and we need to all come to the table honestly, realizing we have differences of opinion, but also realizing this is a math problem. It shouldn't be a philosophical problem or ideological or partisan problem, it's a math problem. We have to get America on a fiscally sustainable path and in order to do that, we're going to have to have a balanced package. We're going to have to look at additional revenues."
"We both have to be very honest and tough-minded in this discussion. Again I say, it's not an ideological or partisan problem, it's a math problem. The math doesn't work for our country long-term, doesn't work for my children or grandchildren long-term. We have a responsibility to the American public to make some tough decisions on both sides. And if we don't do that, our country is not going to be where we need it to be and our economy is not going to grow the way we want it to grow and produce the kinds of jobs we want to produce. I've said and believe strongly: the best stimulus package that we could pass would be a credible plan that gets us to a fiscally sustainable place in the next ten years."
"In my view, and I feel this strongly, we ought not to ask the vulnerable in America to pay the price. There's those of us doing better that can pay the price. We have a bill that the Senate's passed. We have a discharge position for a bill that [Congressman] Tim Walz has introduced which says if you make less than $200,000 as an individual or less than $250,000 as a family, you're not going to get [a tax] increase on January 1st. That's good for the economy, that's good for them, and we ought to pass that bill."