Fiscal cliff or gentle slope?

By
  • Rolf Westgard — guest lecturer on energy topics, University’s Lifelong Learning program
November 21, 2012

President Barack Obama is showing some backbone as he calls Rep. John Boehner’s, R-Ohio, no-new-taxes bluff. Republicans are predicting dire fiscal-cliff consequences if taxes on the wealthy are raised a few points to President Bill Clinton-era levels. Remember Clinton? That’s when taxes were higher, the economy boomed and deficits disappeared.

Americans cast 53,952,240 votes for Democratic House of Representatives candidates while Republican candidates received 53,402,643 in this 2012 election. Despite this, the GOP kept control of the House with about a 40-vote margin. This was because the GOP won control of many state legislatures in 2010, allowing them to gerrymander House districts in ways that preserved Republican seats.

That’s not a crime as Democrats do the same when they have a
chance.

In Pennsylvania, for example, Obama received 52 percent of the vote compared with Gov. Mitt Romney’s 46.8 percent total. However, Democrats won only five of the state’s 18 seats in the House. Ohio shows a similar trend with just four of the state’s 16 seats going to Democrats.

It won’t help Republicans a lot this time as the president is standing fast on the need to tax the wealthy. The president holds both public-opinion and veto-pen cards, and he intends to play them.

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