Solve the Fiscal Cliff With Another Fiscal Cliff?
Posted at 12:45 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2012
David Brooks thinks that Republicans should concede on increased tax rates for the top income tax brackets in exchange for guaranteed tax and entitlement reform in 2013. That challenge would be holding lawmakers to their word.
“But the big demand would be this: That on March 15, 2013, both parties would introduce leader-endorsed tax and entitlement reform bills in Congress that would bring the debt down to 60 percent of G.D.P. by 2024 and 40 percent by 2037, as scored by the Congressional Budget Office. Those bills would work their way through the normal legislative process, as the Constitution intended. If a Grand Bargain is not reached by Dec. 15, 2013, then there would be automatic defense and entitlement cuts and automatic tax increases.”
Of course, it is worth remembering that it was exactly this sort of “gun to the head” strategy that created the current “fiscal cliff” mess.