The so-called “fiscal cliff” has been averted — but at what cost?
At the last possible minute, the Senate and House passed legislation that fails to address what should be our most important priority — supporting the middle class by creating jobs. It leaves the country in a position where we cannot generate the revenue necessary to meet our commitments to job training, to education, and other critical supports for the middle class.
But perhaps worst of all, this deal makes tax breaks for high-income earners permanent while only extending tax relief for lower-income and middle-class Americans for five years — locking in a tax system that is upside down and grossly unfair.
Furthermore, every dollar that the wealthiest taxpayers save through this plan will become a potential cut to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. After all, House Republicans have been vocal about their intention to cut these programs before raising the debt limit in just a few months. It would be naive to consider this “cliff” deal without also considering its impact on those programs.
Don’t get me wrong: I believe in compromise. But any compromise that permanently sets a new standard for the most fortunate among us while failing to fuel our economic engine — a thriving middle class — is something I cannot support.
This is a delicate time for our recovering economy, and it cannot sustain further damage. This was the wrong deal for Iowa and the wrong deal for our country.
While we didn’t get what we wanted, our stand did make an impact and kept this deal from favoring the wealthy over the middle class even more. That wouldn’t have happened without you joining me to take a stand and make your voice heard. Thank you.
I will be in touch over the coming weeks as we look ahead to a new year and a new Congress. There is so much to do to keep fighting for the middle class, and I look forward to working with you in 2013.
Best wishes for a happy New Year,
I have been of two minds on the compromise on the so-called fiscal cliff. However, I must give kudos to Senator Harkin for his unrelenting support of the middle class.