“Our good friend and former Toccoa city commissioner, Billy Chism, is now publisher of the White County News in Cleveland, GA and his comments on the fiscal cliff sum up our thoughts too.”
Thankfully, the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate came together on New Year’s Day to pass legislation to avert big income-tax increases on most Americans. Their action also will prevent large cuts in spending for the Pentagon and other government programs.
President Obama plans to sign the bill into law.
But without the Senate, most of us would be facing huge income-tax hikes in 2013.
The Senate took the lead. They voted overwhelmingly (89-8, with three not voting) to pass this bill. The Senate version then went straight to the House, where Speaker of the House John Boehner promised an up-or-down vote.
Speaker Boehner lived up to his promise. In a dramatic vote on New Year’s night, the House voted 257 to 167 to approve the measure.
We are grateful that Georgia’s two U.S. Senator’s Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson, joined with other thoughtful Senators to get this bill through Congress. To do otherwise would have been the height of irresponsibility.
Raising taxes on the vast majority of Americans at this point in time would have been exactly the wrong thing to do.
In addition, slashing government budgets in a haphazard fashion would have been just as irresponsible. There should be an up-or-down vote in Congress on specific programs to be cut, so all citizens can see how each member of Congress votes.
Isakson put it this way: “This 11th-hour negotiation is no way to run the country, but I voted for this agreement because it protects 99 percent of Americans from a tax increase, permanently protects tens of thousand of farmers and family businesses from having to pay the estate tax upon the death of a loved on, and permanently fixes the alternative minimum tax to protect some 30 million households a year from having to pay it. Now, it is time for the president to get serious about spending cuts and entitlement reforms, and I look forward to enacting significant measures in the coming weeks that will reduce our debt.
Chambliss, who also wants to reduce entitlement spending, wrote earlier: “To accomplish anything in Congress requires that Republicans and Democrats work together – for the good of the country.
“This means neither side will get everything it wants. That is the way our Founding Fathers designed the American system, and it has worked well for more that 200 years.”
We hope our new U.S. Representative, Doug Collins, being sworn into office today to represent Georgia’s Ninth Congressional District, will provide the same thoughtful leadership as his Senate colleagues. – B.C.