Friday, November 30, 2012

Cleaver: We can't go over fiscal cliff

In his latest EC from DC column, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver warns of the dangers of going off the fiscal cliff.

It was a great pleasure this week to sit down with my colleague and friend, Congressman Kevin Yoder (R-KS), to talk with KCUR’s Steve Kraske about the looming fiscal cliff and the need for civility and bipartisanship in working to solve this, and other, major issues facing our country. 

As you know, I believe it is in reaching out and finding compromise that we find a way to move forward, keep our economy on the right track, and increase employment for hardworking people in Missouri’s Fifth District. I remain committed to the notion that ALL Americans should receive a tax cut on incomes up to $250,000. I also believe Social Security is an earned benefit, not an entitlement and should not be included in any talks of cuts. 

According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office – going over the fiscal cliff would raise the unemployment rate from 7.9% to 9.1 % in 2013. We can’t let this happen. We have seen 30 consecutive months of steady private sector job growth and our economy is rebounding. Failing to act, and allowing the elimination of jobs and an increase in the unemployment rate is the height of irresponsibility. 

Under sequestration, numerous agencies would face dramatic cuts that would not be efficient or strategic. I believe they would result in a loss of jobs, and a loss of ability to serve critical functions necessary to protect us. 

There are tough decisions ahead that need to be made by those who have been elected to represent the voters. Constituents believe this is not a time for political games, harsh partisanship, or digging in and refusing to listen to valid ideas brought to the table. The proverbial can cannot be kicked down the road any longer. 

The American people, and especially those in the Fifth District, have spoken loud and clear. They want us to get things done. They want us to make responsible decisions that everyone can live with. And they want this country to remain on a positive economic track. I am working toward those goals, as well, for my children and yours. 

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