JUST THE ‘FISCAL CLIFF’ FACTS… PLEASE!

Nov 16th, 2012 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Finances

Scare Tactics Exposed

Any time we here at SeniorCitizenJournal.com hear scary words from politicians, we pause and go searching for validation of what is being said.  We did that this week with the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ scary-word, and found it to be totally misguided.  (We’re being nice here with our language.)

Fictitious Fiscal Cliff

First, the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ has been conjured by the Republican majority in the House to try to scare us senior citizens into supporting their version of legislation they are trying to get passed. Paul Krugman, winner of the 2008 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, said this:  “The looming prospect of spending cuts and tax increases isn’t a fiscal crisis. It is, instead, a political crisis brought on by the G.O.P.’s attempt to take the economy hostage.” (NYTimes, 12/11/2012) At the heart of the conflict are those infamous Bush tax cuts for wealthy Americans; the Republican House majority is creating a fantasy crisis to try to put pressure on the Democratic majority in the Senate and the President.  In the process, they are proposing painful cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

If there is no legislation regarding the Bush tax cuts, they end.  On the last day of 2012, tax cuts for wealthy Americans finally come to an end.

What happens then, on January 1?  Most likely prognostications are that public pressure on the House majority will be relentless, requiring them to agree to the middle-class tax cuts already approved by the Senate; President Obama has already said he will sign this bill.  So the middle-class tax cuts get extended and we have over $8billion in revenue from the wealthiest in our country, who by the way can afford this increase.

The Future of Social Security and Medicare

Keep following this scenario, please. If the Bush tax cuts go away, middle-class tax cuts get extended, and if the Democratic majority in the Senate stands firm, there is no reason for our lifeline benefits in Social Security and Medicare to be on the table. Nadda.  Period.

Here’s the summary:

  • There is no Fiscal Cliff; just another Republican scare tactic;
  • Bush tax cuts expire on December 31;
  • Legislation extending Middle-class tax cuts is ready and waiting for Republican majority approval in the House;
  • With $8billion more revenue, we don’t have to talk about unnecessary cuts to Social Security and Medicare; the programs are just fine and need to be left alone.

Let’s say that just one more time:  Social Security and Medicare need to be left alone.



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