Time to compromise on cuts

The fiscal cliff is looming and only 45 days to avoid it. Clearly, this is not enough time to fix the tax code, specify cost reductions and areas, etc., but if we don’t do something, Jan. 1 is doomsday in which we have draconian automatic across-the-board reductions, elimination of Bush tax cuts – which combine to propel us to higher unemployment and a bunch of changes nobody, regardless of party, will like.

Republicans reiterate their long-held and misguided beliefs that it is the rich who are job creators. Even if we eliminate Bush tax cuts for the very wealthy, it will only add $80 billion in revenue – a spit in a big ocean of debt. Check with Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and even Mitt Romney on how many jobs they’ve created in the past few years. Obama is willing to continue the Bush cuts for all but the 2 percent wealthiest Americans, and will not sign anything that takes this issue off the table.

Lots of Republicans and Democrats have another election coming up, but Obama has nothing to lose. Personally, my advice, which so far he has not requested, is stick to your guns. We cannot find $4 trillion or $5 trillion in one place, so everything has to give somewhat.

In today’s world, $80 billion is chump change, but it helps. Asking the rich to help a little, rather than putting the entire burden on Romney’s 47 percent of lazy, money-grubbing food stampers, runs against the grain. Opening us to the fiscal cliff realizes Republican’s worst two fears – tax increases and reducing defense spending. Do it. Grover Norquist becomes a little read footnote in American history, and the tea party goes the way of the Whigs. I predict that by the end of January, the Republicans will be back at the table.

Edwin Bowers