The Biggest Myth in Obama-GOP Showdown is the “Fiscal Cliff” Itself

By Democracy Now –

As negotiations continue between the White House and House Speaker John Boehner, leading economist Dean Baker joins to discuss the myths about the so-called fiscal cliff. With little more than two weeks before the deadline, President Obama insists on an immediate increase in the top two income-tax rates as a condition for further negotiations on changes to spending and entitlement programs. But Boehner said Washington’s “spending problem” is the biggest roadblock to reaching a deal, and has urged the White House to identify more spending cuts. “This idea that if we do not get a deal by the end of the year we will see the economy collapse and go into recession, that is totally dishonest,” says Baker, the co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. “The basis for this is that we don’t have a deal all year — the fact that you do not have a deal December 31 does not mean that you do not get a deal by December 31, 2013.”


  1. DHFabian on December 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Fiscal cliff, threats of a government shutdown, whatever. Just another phrase for pushing an agenda for upward wealth redistribution. Consider that first government cut General Assistance (welfare) down to zero, then “reformed” AFDC right out of existence. We were told that these were the programs driving the debt. So — where did the money taken out of these programs actually go? Everything from disability aid to education has been cut — with all of that money simply redistributed upward. Meanwhile, we have actually lost several trillion dollars (since Reagan) to handouts to corporations and the very rich! Corporations continue to use their handouts to cover the costs of building factories outside of the US, shipping out our jobs. It has been Party Time for the rich since the 1980s; they don’t need it. The rich who don’t wish to pay fair taxes have the means the leave. It’s time to stop this, and to get back to re-investing in our people and the country, which has deteriorated from years of neglect.

  2. robert on December 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    This baker guy in the video is a straight up idiot! For whats left of the working middle class the fiscal cliff IS VERY REAL!If this idiot doesn’t think adding millions of people to the unimployment line and all who are on getting cut off even thow as a tax payers pays into it week after week and year after year then after 6 months get cut off. Thinks that that will not help send this country into another downward turn this guy is crazy. This will result in people not paying there bills [what little that can be paid with unimployment] social security will be cut medicare will be cut and the list goes on and this is a law that was passed to try and force the goverment to cut the middle class even more so there will be 2 classes of people the rich and the poor. There not worried about getting the debt down! if they were worried about paying down the debt they would cut out the large amounts the rich write off every year for there tax shelters,losses on wall street,elimanate deduction they get for using corperate accounts to party,drink and calling it a business exspence i could go on forever with this list of things they should cut and would wipe out the debt. But whats the use?

  3. rid of lobbyists on December 19, 2012 at 5:16 am

    Enough with the ‘fiscal cliff’ scare tactics. In fact, let it collapse so those who created this mess will finally be exposed, and held accountable for starters!

    • Sue Jantz on December 19, 2012 at 10:35 pm

      I’ve had it with corruption and lobbyists. Now they’re driving us over this fictional fiscal cliff = driving under the influence. Influenced by Koch Brothers, Grover Norquist, Peter G. Peterson and other opponents of tax fairness, social and medical security, environmental, financial and workplace regulation.”
      G.O.P. = Gutting Our Protections
      * Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid
      * Environmental and health safety
      * Unemployment insurance
      * Women’s and worker’s rights
      * NRA = No regulations allowed
      Unfortunately, Democrats aren’t much better and people need to understand how unelected policy makers influence our government and undermine our democracy. So I created a new oath of office for those who choose to represent special interests:
      “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the super-rich against all representatives of the elderly, disadvantaged, disabled and working class; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to lobbyists and special interests opposing regulation, tax-rate increases, reduction or elimination of deductions or credits for wealthy individuals or businesses.
      “I take this obligation to faithfully discharge the duties of protecting private-sector profiteers and polluters and defend the financial, military, energy, pharmaceutical and insurance industrial complexes against legislation proposed by elected representatives advocating on behalf of ordinary people within the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”


      • Bob Siegel on December 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm

        Excellent commentary, Sue Jantz.