Learning to Love Simpson-Bowles

What should Republicans in Congress do right now about the "fiscal cliff"? Everyone has advice, almost none of which squares with reality. Republicans have only two levers of control: the House of Representatives and filibusters in the Senate. Consider the options. Option 1: Do nothing. If no new legislation gets passed we hit the so-called "fiscal cliff." That means all "Bush tax cuts" would expire, for rich and non-rich alike. It means other tax cuts and credits added under Obama (payroll tax cuts, child tax credits, etc.) would also expire. The Congressional Budget Office estimates all that at $4,532 billion over the next decade, or almost 11% of all projected federal revenue. Then there is the spending side of the fiscal cliff, or sequestration. The CBO says sequestration amounts to $492B in military cuts and another $492B in non-defense cuts from the current baseline over the next decade. If these "cuts" are allowed to happen, federal spending would be $43,823B over the next...(Read Full Article)