Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) took to the floor of the Senate today to slam President Obama for his kowtowing to the radical left on tax policy ahead of the much-dreaded fiscal cliff. McConnell said that talks have now reached an “impasse” and that Obama should move to make things happen. McConnell pointed out that while Republicans have been talking openly about raising tax revenue – both Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and House Speaker John Boehner have talked about closing tax loopholes or capping deductions – Democrats have failed to present even a single substantive cut.
The only balanced approach is one that includes real and lasting reforms. So Republicans have stepped out of our comfort zone. We’ve been clear about what we’ll do and what we won’t. And yet we remain at an impasse …
It’s time for the president to present a plan that rises above these reckless and radical voices on the hard left, that goes beyond the talking points of the campaign trail, and that has a realistic chance of passing the Congress.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are playing chicken. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) tried to divide Americans by earnings, suggesting that Republicans should agree to piecemeal tax policy, okaying tax rate maintenance for those making under $250,000 per year while negotiating tax increases for everyone above $250,000 per year separately. That, of course, would be political suicide for Republicans, who argue that tax rate increases on anyone on the brink of a recession is a recipe for fiscal suicide.
McConnell fired back: “So we’ll continue to wait on the president, and hope that he has what it takes to bring people together to forge a compromise. If he does, we’ll get there. If he doesn’t, we won’t. It’s that simple.”
Republican insistence on entitlement reform is a necessary step, considering that the fiscal cliff is merely an immediate foreshadowing of the enormous debt crisis that faces America over the next few decades, as entitlement programs expand and grow ever more expensive.