Texas Rep. Kevin Brady predicted to Newsmax TV that any deal to prevent the nation from going over the fiscal cliff will come during the holiday season.
“Because there doesn’t seem to be any movement, I suspect this is going to go through the holidays,” Brady, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, tells Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “It’s going to be a lot more last-minute than really anyone wants it to be.
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“But I still am worried that if the president digs in his heels that he’ll, at the end of the day, choose to go over the fiscal cliff rather than compromise. That’s a mistake.”
Brady, who is the House Deputy Majority Whip, said GOP legislators oppose any deal that raises the nation’s debt ceiling to avert the fiscal cliff.
“We’ve made it very clear, as Republicans, is that we’re not raising the debt ceiling without authentic, significant, real cuts in spending. We don’t have a taxing problem. We have a huge spending problem.
“The answer is a serious deficit proposal that has to contain new revenue from economic growth, not from higher taxes; real, authentic spending cuts; and, finally, as long as we ignore our broken tax code and what we need to do to make Social Security and Medicare sustainable, we risk a future credit downgrade,” Brady added. “We’re willing to tackle the tough issues, but the president doesn’t seem willing to.”
Democrats in the Senate also appear to be following President Barack Obama’s lead, Brady said, by refusing to discuss entitlement cuts in any plan.
“Senate Democrats have almost unanimously said that we’re taking entitlements off the table. They’re not even willing to admit that Social Security is in deep trouble. Medicare faces insolvency. And both of them are tied to our credit rating worldwide, so that worries me.
“And, again, why we keep ducking the tough issues and why the president is out campaigning rather than sitting down at the table and negotiating, I just don’t understand.”
Further, Obama’s proposed tax increases will harm middle-class Americans and, especially, seniors, Brady said.
“What people don’t realize is how many folks actually live off of the dividend income for seniors, especially because, other than Social Security, they get almost nothing off their certificates of deposit. Dividends are critical for them. They’re critical for the middle class.
“So, again, while the president is shooting at the wealthy, he’s hitting in the middle class — and he’s hitting seniors when they can’t afford those losses.”
Obama’s efforts to sell his fiscal plan to business leaders also fell on deaf ears, Brady said.
“The business community has been telling us that, as the capital has sat on the sidelines — trillions of dollars waiting to be invested — it’s because of this obsession with higher taxes. It’s a tsunami of red tape coming out of Washington. It’s Obamacare that is blunting their hiring decisions.
“So if he was listening, he would know the answer isn’t taking more of what those businesses earn,” Brady said. “It’s actually creating incentives to get back into the economy.”
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