GOP 'fiscal cliff' endgame: Let big government sting the middle class?
For some tea party Republicans, part of the political calculation ahead of the 2014 elections is whether going off the fiscal cliff would spell political disaster or instead be seen as a return to principled governance.
If President Obama and Congressional leaders fail to avert the “fiscal cliff” of scheduled tax increases and spending cuts by 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, America’s 114-millon-strong middle class will take it hard on the chin – a $3,500 tax blow per family, on average.
Politicians make careers out of protecting the middle class, which is why the President has focused his solution on raising taxes just for richer Americans – those making $250,000 and more – while warning Americans in his weekly Saturday address that, “Every American’s paycheck will get a lot smaller” if the fiscal cliff isn’t averted, which specifically “would hurt middle class families.”
Republican leadership, too, has been forced into a corner, in part by Obama as well as the party’s own right wing, as members have failed to come to agreement over agreeing to some tax concessions for the rich in order to stave off what amounts to a wholesale middle class tax hike.
For some intractable Republican House members, political experts say, part of the political calculation ahead of the 2014 mid-term elections is whether going off the fiscal cliff would spell political disaster or whether it may be seen more broadly as a return to what many see as principled governance.
As Wall Street indices got jittery on Friday, it began to look like some kind of piecemeal deal that would include a tax compromise and extension of unemployment benefits could be done by the drop-dead deadline, but it could be contingent on Republicans having to come back to fight for spending cuts at a later date.
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