Senator Patty Murray Threatens to Take Economy Over the Fiscal Cliff
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Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) decided that it’s acceptable to threaten the economy until you get your way. In a speech at the Brookings Institution on addressing the “fiscal cliff,” automatic tax increases and budget cuts scheduled to take place in 2013, Murray, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, declared, “If we can’t get a good deal, a balanced deal that calls on the wealthy to pay their fair share, then I will absolutely continue this debate into 2013.”
In short: We’ll allow the economy to take a $600 billion hit to make a political point.
That is not responsible leadership.
This political strategy couched as policy isn’t supported by the public. A McClatchy-Marist poll late last week found that a majority of registered voters want the current tax rates extended for everyone—rich, poor, and middle class. This view spans demographic segments. Majorities of young voters, Latinos, Whites, and those making below $50,000/year all support extending the current tax rates.
Sen. Murray and others willing to risk the economy on political brinksmanship should be careful. The closer the economy gets to the cliff and the more fear and uncertainty it creates, the more likely it’ll end up tumbling over.