Letter: Republicans responsible for fiscal cliff problems by John Kocovsky
The writer of “Republicans not to blame for fiscal cliff problems” [Jan. 6, 2013 edition of the Star Journal] would like to deflect the blame and have you believing the fiscal cliff fiasco is not the GOP’s fault.
Lest we forget, the Republicans are the ones:
• That almost shut down the government, breached the debt ceiling and took us over the fiscal cliff.
• That contributed heavily to a Congress that will go down as the most dysfunctional and least productive ever in recorded history, garnering only a 10 percent approval rating–the lowest in over 60 years.
• That used the filibuster threat 380 times in the Senate, denying up or down votes to stall legislation and appointments.
• That wasted time with its posturing and the pointless tactic of voting time and again (nearly 40 times) to repeal Obamacare.
• That so stymied the lawmaking process in Congress only 219 bills were passed, many of them minor or ceremonial such as renaming post offices.
• That finally passed the Senate’s bill to narrowly avoid the fiscal cliff and concluded the do-nothing 112th Congress by refusing to hold a vote on Hurricane Sandy disaster relief funding, the first time in U.S. history that disaster aid was denied to U.S. citizens.
The writer states, on “Aug. 1, 2012, the House passed a bipartisan bill to avoid the fiscal cliff…” Gimme a break! It’s not bipartisan when 237 Republicans and only 19 Democrats vote for a bill to extend the Bush tax cuts for one year and which doesn’t even address the deficit.
The writer complains that Boehner wasn’t given enough time to get legislation before the House for a vote. The truth is Boehner repeatedly put off bringing bills before the House because he couldn’t get his caucus to vote for their very own sponsored bills (remember “Plan B”).
The writer says 2012 is 4 percent under the highest revenue point in history. Not so, the GOP wrongly compares spending vs. revenue. Revenue as a percentage of GDP is used by all official arbiters on revenue, including the CBO. And as a percentage of GDP, revenue is nowhere near a “record” high. In 2010, it was at its lowest level in more than 60 years, (14.9 percent) according to data from the (OMB).
Not all the Republicans’ fault? It will be if the Republicans refuse to raise the debt ceiling and force a 14th Amendment showdown.
John Kocovsky, Hazelhurst
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