“Punt and go home.” That’s the message that Taxpayers for Common Sense wants to send to lawmakers.
Ryan Alexander, president of the Washington-based non-partisan budget watchdog organization, said in a Nov. 14 open letter to Congress that lawmakers should do the bare minimum necessary to stave off the fiscal cliff and then hand the baton to the elected 113th Congress.
Automatic U.S. budget cuts of $1.2 trillion may be triggered in January if President Barack Obama and Congress don’t agree on a deficit-reduction plan. The cuts, known as sequestration, may combine with tax cuts scheduled to expire at the end of the year, setting up a so-called fiscal cliff that lawmakers from both parties say they want to avoid.
Alexander said lawmakers should enact “legislation that makes a down payment on sequestration to cover at least six months, negotiate a fiscally responsible deal on extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, patch the Alternative Minimum Tax, and use agriculture related offsets such as direct payments to extend the expired farm bill for one year.”
She added, “That’s it.”