Cliff hanger does not phase Mike Pence
By Rick Yencer
MUNCIE, IN - That cliff hanger in Congress on New Years Day did not phase future Indiana governor Mike Pence's faith in fiscal responsibility and tax reform.
Republican Pence joined other nay sayers Tuesday to reject President Barack Obama's deal to end the divide over extending federal tax cuts and continuing spending like unemployment benefits.
The reason for voting no, Pence said, was the deal failed to make necessary spending cuts while increasing taxes on small businesses.
"Washington D.C. does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem," said Pence in his final act as a congressman. And he thought Congress could do better by the American people.
Indiana's present and future senators were more pragmatic about their support to end the debate over the so called "fiscal crisis" just before U.S. markets opened on Wednesday.
Republican Senator Dan Coats said the measure that did not increase taxes for people making less than $450,000 was the lesser of two evils.
And Coats saw no reason that the public should suffer for the dysfunction of Washington by not compromising on basic spending and tax issues. By doing nothing, Hoosier families could pay another $4,000 yearly in taxes while individuals would see a $2,800 increase, he said.
The long term problem of federal government spending is the next crisis, as the borrowing limit will be reached soon. And Coats said the President and Congress had to begin reducing federal spending besides reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to make them solvent.
Democratic Congressman Joe Donnelly, who will move to the upper chamber on Thursday, also was practical about supporting a compromise while promising to work on long term spending and deficit solutions. He supported the deal because it preserved tax cuts for 98 percent of Americans.
While the compromise was far from perfect, Donnelly saw the need for some congressman to set aside their political interests and do what's best for the country.
The end to the cliff hanger did seem to appease money interests around the world. Asian stock markets were up as news of the House vote came, with a similar response anticipated when American markets open Wednesday.