By Pat Stacey
If it is not a government shutdown, it is the fiscal cliff. And in this time it is just that, the fiscal cliff. You have probably heard a lot about America's rapid approach to the fiscal cliff and the impact if we drive off of it. But have you examined the make-up of the fiscal cliff? First of all, it is made up of dozens, yes dozens, of individual and business tax cuts that were created over the past decade or so. For the most part, the tax cuts have been renewed each time they approach expiration. Which is an interesting point in itself. Many of these tax cuts were never meant to be permanent, they were designed to be temporary to get us out of the financial mess caused by nine-eleven or the great recession. These need to expire at some point. So the question becomes, not if they expire but how they expire. Republicans in Congress have, for the most part pledged not to raise taxes, but the end of these tax cuts really returns many tax rates to their permanent rate and don't really raise them, so there is some word posturing going on. Democrats want more money from the rich and some of these cuts affect high-income wage earners. The bottom line is that Congress and the President need to act now – immediately – because time is not on our country's side. Make the tough negotiations and compromise where you must. It will be easier for us all to have a manageable pain now, rather than an even more expensive rescue if we fall over the cliff. Our country deserves a plan and it will make for a Better East Texas.