Senator Harkin On The Fiscal Cliff


Harkin at Dubuque Chamber

Harkin at Dubuque Chamber

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,

Tom Harkin
U.S. Senator

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. 

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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2 Responses to Senator Harkin On The Fiscal Cliff

  1. CLARA OLESON says:

    I do not get this reasoning. The political reality is that Harkin has rarely supported President Obama and keeps him at “arm’s length”. Given the size of the President’s electoral and popular win he deserves more from a Senator of his own party. If Harkin is angling for the “progressive” arm of the Dems, he might want to explain how he is now worth 16m a year when he has beenin “public service” for most of his adult life. His part explanation, my wife did it, does not quite cut it since she seemed unable to do it except for the past 5 years. Harkin is not in it with the middle class, he is a millionaire extraordinare. Which is fine, except when he will not admit that his cruiser is not my boat.


  2. Paul Deaton says:

    If the numbers in this Sue Sturgis post are correct, Tom Harkin was right in saying the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was a bad deal for the middle class.


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