Stumbling toward 
the fiscal cliff

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Dear Editors:

Today’s timely editorial – “Stumbling toward the fiscal cliff” – should focus the attention of “every sentient” Sentinel reader on the origins of our impending “fiscal catastrophe”.

While it is refreshing to see Scott Tipton depart from his Tea Party colleagues and join our two stalwart Democratic Senators in calling for “bipartisan” solutions, informed observers can interpret that as his recognition of Republicans’ culpability for the crisis.

Thus, the Sentinel’s endorsement of the Simpson-Bowles “plan” is quite revealing.  After a bipartisan House majority passed legislation establishing a fiscal commission, President Obama endorsed the proposal—but the Senate then rejected the legislation, with six of its Republican co-sponsors voting against their own bill!

President Obama then established the “National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform” by executive order and named Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles as its co-chairmen.  The House named Paul Ryan as a member.

When the chairmen confirmed that both “long-term spending cuts and broad tax reform that eliminated most tax loopholes” were under consideration, anti-tax extemist Grover Norquist (whose “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” both Tipton and Ryan signed, thereby by subordinating their oaths of office to ideology) announced that “closing loopholes” were “tax increases” and were therefore “off the table”.

In response, former Senator Simpson (R-WY) observed that not “doing something with the income tax is a fakery”.

The “final report” called for annual discretionary spending cuts of $200 billion, “revenue enhancements” of $100 billion (raising taxes and closing loopholes), retaining the $716 billion Medicare savings under “Obamacare”, cutting some popular subsidies, raising the Social Security income cap, and reducing the corporate tax rate.

With all three House Republicans (including Ryan) voting against these “all or nothing” proposals, the Simpson-Bowles “plan” failed to achieve the super-majority required.

So, when will the Sentinel begin exposing Republican “fakery” and Romney-Ryan lies?

              Bill Hugenberg
              543 Rim Drive
              Grand Junction, CO 81507
Word Count = 300         257-1998

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