Tag Archives: Fiscal Cliff

Fiscal cliff debate is about political priorities, not economics

By Robin Hahnel, Contributing Columnist

We just had an election which repudiated the Republican economic agenda for America. So what begins the morning after? The only economic subject talked about is “the fiscal cliff” — the Republican economic agenda!

The fiscal cliff is the latest version of the same trap the wealthy, the military industrial complex, and the Republican Party have been setting over and over again since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980. The interesting question is why anyone still falls for it.

If the federal government cuts taxes for the wealthy, and if the federal government insists on growing a military industrial complex even after the cold war has ended, then, eventually, there is no alternative in the long run but to either cut federal spending on domestic programs that actually help people and make the economy more productive or to increase taxes on the middle class or to let the national debt continue to grow. That is simple arithmetic. Continue reading

Oregon’s affordable housing on the edge of the fiscal cliff

By Jake Thomas, Staff Writer

Sequestration.

It sounds like an invasive medical procedure. In a way it is, and it’s about to be performed on the entire country unless Congress acts fast.

In Portland, sequestration — a wonky term for general cuts in government spending — could result in less affordable housing and leave some of the city’s most vulnerable people struggling to put a roof over their heads. And the political hiatus in Washington over the future budget has local housing agencies hanging in limbo over how to prepare for the chopping block.

“Almost every resource that we have to build affordable housing will see cuts,” said John Miller, executive director of the Oregon Opportunity Network, of the looming and deep cuts to the federal budget. Continue reading