Congressmen Ami Bera, David Cicilline, Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger talk problem solving.
SUPER HYPER-PARTISANSHIP: While a growing national debt is a concern, experts say that a more pressing issue is the approaching fiscal cliff. If the spending cuts and expiration of the Bush tax cuts occur, the Congressional Budget Office projects that gross domestic product, the sum of goods and services produced by the United States, would fall by four percentage points and push the country back into a recession. John Cogan, a public policy professor at Stanford and former deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, is concerned that “super hyper-partisanship” in Washington will make it difficult to reach a post-election agreement: Lou Cannon for Real Clear Politics: Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff
EVERYONE TO BE BLAMED: As our debt continues to grow, there is a simple measure that would improve our government's ability to track its finances: a budget. However, we have not passed one with all spending bills since 1996. The inaction is not caused by a lack of ability to write a budget but rather by Congress not being able to reach across the aisle. "Congress is so polarized that they cannot even come up with a budget because there is no such thing as compromise," says John Stickman: John Stickman for The Montana Standard: Both political parties to blame for governmental gridlock
ASHAMED: That's how Congress should feel, according to a commentary in The Winfield Daily Courier. Their inability to work across the aisle may lead to disastrous results and according to the Associated Press, would mean “in effect sucking roughly $400 billion out of a U.S. economy that is already struggling.” We need problem-solvers in Washington to avoid a self-made recession: Guest Commentary for The Winfield Daily Courier: Congress should be ashamed
USE GAME THEORY: We need to look at the way our politics affects fiscal problems argues Dr. Stuart Butler, a senior official at The Heritage Foundation. He recommends applying the economic idea of game theory to politics. "The legislative process has become increasingly unable to crystallize the public mood into policy decisions and enact them, and this has contributed to the steady and alarming erosion of public confidence in Congress and the executive branch," he says: Stuart Butler, Ph.D. for The Heritage Foundation: How Arms Controllers Would Reach a Budget Agreement
FROM THE FIELD: No Labels Co-Founder Dave Walker is coming to a city near you with the "$10 Million a Minute" Bus Tour. The tour will stop in over a dozen states, bringing national attention to the economic and fiscal challenges facing our nation. A No Labels staff member will be at each stop: Click here to find the stop closest to you.
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STAT OF THE DAY: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently predicted that the U.S. would slip back into recession should Congress and the President not find a way to resolve the fiscal cliff of tax cut expiration and blind cuts scheduled at the end of this year. Said recession is projected to last six months: James McCusker for HeraldNet: Drastic deficit reduction isn’t worth going over ‘fiscal cliff’