Fiscal Cliff? – Let it Happen

Paul Krugman makes the call in today’s NY Times:

Yes, letting the tax and spending cuts happen may push America back into recession. He continues

Nobody wants to see that happen. Yet it may happen all the same, and Mr. Obama has to be willing to let it happen if necessary.

Why? 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. In particular, they want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, even though the nation can’t afford to make those tax cuts permanent and the public believes that taxes on the rich should go up — and they’re threatening to block any deal on anything else unless they get their way. So they are, in effect, threatening to tank the economy unless their demands are met.

Four years of GOP intransigence and economic blackmail are enough. I want Obama to hang tough on this one. Besides, as I understand it, the deficit is a very, very serious problem that we must address promptly. And that’s exactly what the so-called “fiscal cliff” does.

AustinforAmerica has more.

As for Boehner’s claim that a tax hike on the wealthy would “destroy 700,000 jobs,” … not so, says WaPo’s Fact-checker Glenn Kessler, awarding three Pinocchios to Boehner for this.

And among the upsides to plunging off the fiscal cliff:

“If we do go over the cliff, lawmakers will be on a budget path that deals with the deficit quite well over the medium term and the long term,” Gale says.


That’s because there would be a huge amount of revenue added to the budget if the Bush tax cuts expire. That would reduce the deficit significantly. The same goes for the cuts in domestic spending, including defense, that are part of the fiscal cliff. Those cuts would also substantially trim projected deficits for years to come.