Raise your hand if you thought one of the key strategies in Congress this fall would be the possibility of diving head first over the “fiscal cliff” the Congressional Budget Office warned about? Me neither. Yet that is exactly where we stand today as reported by the Seattle Times:

“Sen. Patty Murray said Monday that Democrats would let Bush-era tax cuts expire for all Americans rather than renew them for higher-income families, echoing a new get-tough stance adopted by her party leaders . . .

The Senate and the House are scheduled to vote on extending the Bush cuts later this month.

Murray said she thinks a compromise can be reached, but only ‘as soon as Republicans decide to work with us.’

A May report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) laid the fiscal choices in stark terms.

Allowing the higher taxes and spending reductions to take effect would likely sink the economy into a recession during the first half of 2013, although growth will pick up in the second half, the CBO said.”

With congressional brinkmanship continuing to go to new heights, one can only imagine the following plea from Americans:

“Dear Congress,

I know that there is an election pending and the already less than stellar commitment to sound public policy demonstrated thus far goes even further by the wayside to be replaced by poll-tested campaign strategy instead but please, please, please don’t knowingly and willingly throw the country into a recession to score political points.

As Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke implored yesterday during his Senate testimony, at a minimum, ‘Do no harm.’


Frustrated and weary of the games our leaders play”

Additional Information
CBO Sees 2013 Recession Risk

Toying With Recession

Bernanke warns Congress of economic slowdown


[Reprinted with permission from the Washington Policy Center blog]