Not until there was an extreme threat did the United States Congress and the White House take a serious look at the cost of government versus the amount of income the government is taking in each year, which has placed us at the precipice of the fiscal cliff. It’s not a new predicament.
In fact, a look back at the Jan. 10, 1993 issue of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Congress was dealing with cutting the cost of Medicare by raising the eligibility age from 65 to 67. That was during the William Jefferson Clinton-era, when times were good. Congress was considering increasing the age of eligibility to save some $750 billion over 30 years. Congress kicked the can down the road.
Does that sound familiar? If Congress and the Clinton White House had acted on their instincts to curb costs in 1993, we might not be facing the fiscal cliff that we’re rushing toward today.
The American people can no longer allow its elected representatives to “kick the can down the road.” Like those elected to make the tough decisions nearly 20 years ago, today’s congressional representatives in the House and Senate are in a position, along with the president, to make the tough decisions. But, they, like their 1993 counterparts, are begining to flinch.
Unlike the 1993 decision makers, however, today’s Congress and the administration are faced with sequestration. Sequestration will increase taxes on the filthy rich, the middle class and those in lower tax brackets. In addition, cuts will be made across the board — Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, EPA, CIA, FBI, FEMA, and the U.S. military.
Former senior officials from eight presidential administrations, representing both parties, and former congressional leaders paid for a full page ad in the Dec. 5 issue of The New York Times. In it, these former leaders stated: “Our fiscal goal must be to stabilize the debt as a share of the economy, and put it on a downward path for the longer term. We cannot continue to grow our national debt faster than our economy if we want to maintain our global leadership. Any solution that does not meet this simple test is insufficient.”
Ironically, some of these people were in office in 1993, when tough decisions could have been made in a brighter economic era. (Read the entire detailed message at: FiscalAndNationalSecurity.org.)