The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


May 17, 2012

Our View: Fiscal cliff

In August 2011, Congress and President Barack Obama agreed to tax increases and spending cuts to automatically take place in January of 2013.

The Congressional Budget Office has now indicated that the combination of the two actions will remove some $388 billion from the American economy if the mandated actions occur.

The first event that will affect all Americans is rescinding all of the Bush tax cuts enacted in 2003. That means that income taxes will go up for all Americans, returning the country to Clinton-era taxes. Next will be the return to normal Social Security withholdings, again affecting every worker’s paycheck. Finally, defense contractors have said that planned cuts in defense spending — over $100 billion each year — will result in layoffs of around a million workers in the defense industry in America.

The above effects are only the big-ticket items. Medicare payments will be slashed as well and hospitals will be required to lay off workers. Doctors will receive much less in such payments as well. The Alternative Minimum Tax could be further imposed, causing further tax increases, beyond just the effects of rescinding overall lower tax rates implemented by President George W. Bush. Unemployment benefits could also be affected without additional congressional action before January 2013.

Business leaders are already laying plans to implement well in advance of January 2013. Hiring in the defense industry is already slowing, but massive layoffs have not yet occurred. Hospitals are doing all they can to reduce costs now, well in advance of the coming cuts.

Confronting all of these self-imposed economic actions in Washington is like trying to navigate a ship without a rudder, for the moment. It is a presidential election year and neither party has stepped up with bold, new proposals to avoid the looming actions.

Washington will await the outcome of the November 2012 election and then try to put bandages on our fiscal problems with a lame-duck Congress that will have less than two months to act.

The real issue, in our view, however, is that regardless of which party wins or loses in November, the campaign for 2016 will begin on Nov. 7, 2012. On Election Day, we will have only rearranged the deck chairs on our ship while heading into larger and larger fiscal storms.

Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our view: Street smarts

    If your daily commute has been shortened because you no longer have to wait at 26th Street and Connecticut Avenue for a train to pass, thank your own tax dollars.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: No time to turn away

    With the shooting down of a commercial airliner over Ukraine and fighting that has now escalated to a ground war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, it would be easy for most U.S. citizens to throw up their hands and turn their backs.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Amendment 5 is deception of the highest order

    Amendment 5, sponsored by Missouri Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, “relating to the right of Missouri citizens to keep and bear arms” provides that “any restriction on these rights shall be subject to strict scrutiny.”

    July 21, 2014

  • Our View: Vote no on Amendment 1

    Proponents of Amendment 1 — the Right to Farm Act — have not made their case. We’ve met with advocates of this amendment to the Missouri constitution and listened to their arguments, but we don’t believe they have adequately answered the central question: Who is it protecting, and from what?

    July 13, 2014

  • Your View: Power to defend

    The Globe’s editorial ‘More guns not the answer’ (July 15) was saturated with classic progressive blather.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: Thanks for the generosity

    Generally, all we hear about is the bad news, and obviously, there is plenty available. Our church felt this event worthy of public knowledge.

    July 21, 2014

  • Your View: How to upgrade your business

    Let’s see now. When some folks wish to improve the exterior of their properties and have other taxpayers pay for the improvements, they create a community improvement district.

    July 21, 2014

  • Other Views Other Views: Decision fails test

    With the announcement that the State Board of Education has decided not to release individual school test results because of cyberattacks and other problems this spring, educators are scratching their heads, as are taxpayers who footed the bill.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Our View: Welcome additions

    After Joplin voters failed to pass a curbside recycling proposal in the spring, the City Council said it would study alternate ways to make recycling easier for residents.

    July 18, 2014

  • Your Letters: Be careful what you wish for on Amendment 1

    The proposed Amendment 1 should have been called “Freedom to Farm Without Any Restrictions Whatsoever” because that is what it is. Do you really want a feedlot opening next door to you in Joplin? Or a hog-raising operation on your block in Carthage?

    July 17, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success