What We Must Do to Avert the Fiscal Cliff


By:  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Date: Nov. 29, 2012
Location: Unknown

Dear Friends,

Congress is back in session this week to deal with the fiscal cliff facing the nation on January 1st when a number of key tax cuts will end and automatic across the board spending cuts will go into effect. Many are concerned that the impact of this fiscal cliff will lead to a return to economic recession at a time when we are still suffering from long term unemployment.

I believe that we must prevent the fiscal cliff through significant spending cuts and tax reform with lower tax rates. This is consistent with the president's call for a "balanced" approach to averting the cliff and addressing our nation's debt problem.

House Republicans have offered to accept some new revenues as part of an agreement to avert the fiscal cliff, provided the revenue comes from tax reform and significant spending cuts. We need to make a careful review of our complicated tax code to remove special interest tax loopholes used by the wealthy. Our country's massive debt exists not because tax rates are too low, but because government spends too much.

A recent poll shows that a majority of Americans support the Republican approach of reforming the tax code by eliminating special interest loopholes and cutting spending over the Senate's plan to raise tax rates which will hurt our economy.

"Sixty-five percent of those surveyed preferred a deal that wipes out "special interest tax loopholes and deductions commonly used by the wealthy' over an approach that raises tax rates on "Americans earning more than $250,000' on Jan. 1.," notes the Washington Post regarding a survey of 1,000 registered voters conducted by the Winston Group on Nov. 19-20, 2012.

The House has already passed a bipartisan bill stopping all of the looming tax hikes. Yet some in Congress are openly suggesting they're willing to let the economy go over the cliff for the sake of higher tax rates during a time of economic suffering.

In 2013, we must start solving our nation's debt problem through tax reform and entitlement reform. Both parties should work together now to avert the fiscal cliff together in a manner that ensures 2013 is that year.

Republicans are seeking a solution that's good for the country and the economy, and can pass both chambers of Congress. Raising tax rates will hurt small businesses and destroy jobs, and a proposal that raises tax rates cannot pass the House.

Without significant tax and entitlement reform, it is impossible to address our country's debt crisis. The debt problem also cannot be solved without economic growth. Republicans are eager to forge a bipartisan agreement that can pass both chambers of Congress. The fiscal cliff is approaching, and time is ticking away.


Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Member of Congress

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