Fiscal Cliff negotiations - let's clear the air

Senator Blasts 'Secret' Fiscal Cliff Negotiations

In remarks on the Senate floor today, Alabama senator Jeff Sessions blasted President Barack Obama and congressional leadership for holding "secret" fiscal cliff negotiations. "I rise today to express my reservations about the fiscal cliff negotiations that are currently underway," said Sessions. "Over the last two years, Congress and the President have held an endless series of secret negotiations. There have been gangs of six and eight, a supercommittee of 12, talks at the Blair House and the White House. But the only thing these secret talks have produced is a government that skips from one crisis to the next. Everything has been tried but the open production of a 10-year budget plan as required by law and open discussions of the difficult choices." Sessions, the highest Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, saved most of his criticism for the president. "President Obama campaigned on a tax increase of ‘only’ $800 billion," said Sessions. "But now the White House is demanding $1.6 trillion in new taxes. Don’t the American people have a right to see these taxes and where they will fall? Shouldn’t the President of the United States, the only person who represents everybody in the country, lay out his plan, or must that remain a secret too? Will it just be revealed to us on the eve of Christmas or eve of the new calendar year? We will be asked to vote for it, to ratify it like lemmings, I suppose."
Grover Norquist wants fiscal cliff talks on TV Excerpt:

In light of the “he says, she says” fiscal cliff debate — with Republicans and Democrats blaming each other — one solution might be to put the talks on television. Grover Norquist, conservative lobbyist and president of Americans for Tax Reform, suggested televised fiscal cliff talks during his appearance on NBC‘s “Meet the Press“ on Sunday morning. Norquist was part of a roundtable on the topic of budget proposals and the fiscal cliff. “[The President] should get into a room with C-SPAN cameras there and negotiate,” Norquist said. He stressed that cameras would show for certain whether or not Republicans were being reasonable during negotiations. “Gotta have cameras in that room, none of these press releases after,” he added. At the end of the roundtable talk, Norquist again came back to the idea of broadcasting the budget debates.
Comment: Image source.


  1. More: Put ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Talks on C-SPAN – What’s Obama Afraid Of?

    There is only one thing that can stop this from ending badly: Sunlight. Transparency. A C-SPAN camera in the room with President Obama, Speaker Boehner and Harry Reid. Then and only then will all Americans know what each side is demanding, offering or agreeing to. Only C-SPAN cameras can stop the Obama PR team from misrepresenting both the Republican position and their own to a credulous White House press corps that doesn’t follow budget matters well but does understand that access to power is dependent on proper behavior—at least for the next four years.

    t may help to remind voters—and the press—that Obama did make such transparency one of his campaign promises. He promised that Obamacare would not be written down with Washington lobbyists in a room that kept out the American public. Oh, well. He didn’t quite keep that promise, but now there is an opportunity to do it right. As promised.

    If the C-SPAN cameras were in the fiscal cliff negotiation room then Obama would have a hard time convincing Americans that his budget is serious. He is demanding $1.6 trillion in higher taxes. He is promising to save money by not occupying Iraq and Afghanistan for the next ten years. Is this a joke? Why doesn’t he save real money by not re-fighting the Korean War or the war of 1812? We are saving billions by not continuing many wars that are already over. No one has ever had the silliness to claim those as budget savings. Obama also wants to count as savings more than one trillion dollars of budget reductions already passed into law as part of the debt ceiling agreement last year. That is selling the same horse twice.

    Transparency favors the honest. Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Budget Committee, has demanded that the negotiations be opened to public scrutiny via C-SPAN. Why is Obama balking? What does he not want you to see and hear? King Solomon knew who the real mother was by their different reactions to “splitting the baby.” White House fear of TV cameras tells you who is afraid of the truth getting out.

    Of course, if the president’s positions are serious, real, and would gain popular support, Obama would welcome and gain from transparency.

  2. "Fiscal cliff" dates: Despite the Name, Drop Not So Steep

    Comment: If you budget .... be prepared to adjust for lower take home pay in January.


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