Congress: Avoid Fiscal Cliff and Go Home
November 14, 2012
Dear Member of Congress:
As the nation’s economy hurtles toward the fiscal cliff, it is past time to do your job and turn it around. Then go home. The waning days of the 112th Congress should only be used to take care of the minimum necessary to avoid economic calamity and then hand the baton to those elected to serve in the 113th Congress.
We urge you to enact legislation that makes a down payment on sequestration to cover at least six months, negotiate a fiscally responsible deal on extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, patch the Alternative Minimum Tax, and using agriculture related offsets such as direct payments to extend the expired farm bill for one year. That’s it. There should be no new five-year, trillion dollar Farm Bill that hasn’t even been considered by the full house yet. Other legislation dealing with water projects, tariff relief provisions, and the so-called tax extenders package can wait until next year.
One of the only major pieces of legislation adopted by this Congress was the Budget Control Act of 2011. Congressional inaction on our nation’s budget challenges since has directly led to the impending sequester that was envisioned by that legislation. While sequestration’s across-the-board budget cuts are a terrible fiscal tool, the threat of their enactment has helped concentrate the Congressional mind on fiscal challenges at hand. This is why the threat of sequestration should not be simply turned off, but delayed with offsets. Similarly, the deal on extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts should be short term and not preclude major tax reform, which is sorely needed.
Thank you for your service to the nation. Again, we urge you to do the minimum necessary to step back from the fiscal cliff and leave the major spending, tax, and entitlement reforms to the 113th Congress. If you have further questions please contact me or Steve Ellis at 202-546-8500.
An independent watchdog for the taxpayers of today and tomorrow