Center Chairman Lt. Gen. Robert Gard (USA, ret.) has penned an op-ed arguing that unless Congress gets its act together, the US economy could be headed for disaster. Here’s how it begins:
“Doomsday!” “Taxmageddon!” “Catastrophe!” Next year will begin with both a bang and a whimper unless Congress can escape its apparently hopeless deadlock.
Unless our lawmakers get their act together, there will be the equivalent of an abrupt tax increase of about $600 billion and a reduction in spending by the federal government of $110 billion over nine months. Experts say this is a recipe for a new recession, if not a full-fledged depression.
How did we get to the precipice of this fiscal cliff? The Budget Control Act, which Congress passed in August 2011, authorized a short-term increase in the debt ceiling and a total of $917 billion in cuts from projected spending over a decade, about half of which comes from the military budget.
The deal also specified an automatic $110 billion reduction, called “sequestration,” in the fiscal 2013 budget if a so-called congressional “supercommittee” couldn’t agree by Christmas 2011 on a plan to reduce the projected federal debt by at least an additional $1.2 trillion over a 10-year period.
Not surprisingly, considering the dysfunction of Congress, that not-so-super committee failed in its mission.
Read the whole thing here.