Calif. lawmakers warn about "fiscal cliff"

November 11, 2012 6:45:43 PM PST
It's been less than a week since Election Day, and attention is already shifting to what everyone is calling "the fiscal cliff." But when lawmakers return to Washington this week, it's not clear if Tuesday's results will erase any gridlock on Capitol Hill.

The "fiscal cliff" describes a combination of across-the-board cuts to social programs and military spending, and a jump in taxes for every income bracket. On Sunday, California leaders said the solution to the problem can be found in what happened on Election Day.

On this Veterans Day, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi saluted the service of our veterans at San Francisco's Presidio. But she also spoke extensively about the country's "fiscal cliff," saying, "We have a deficit that we have to deal with. We have to do it with growth, the creation of jobs. We have to do it with cuts, we all know that, but we also have to do it with revenue."

When she returns to Washington she will be facing a House of Representatives still led by republicans who continue to dig their heels in against raising taxes on the wealthy. It's something she says is to their detriment, "The American people have spoken," Pelosi said. "The president made tax fairness a centerpiece of his presidential campaign."

It's a sentiment Governor Jerry Brown echoed on CNN Sunday, "Our credibility as a nation that can govern ourselves is on the chopping block. And yes, cuts going forward of certain commitments that the country has made, has to be embraced. But so also is revenue, and revenue means taxes."

Brown championed Proposition 30 this election season. It passed, raising $6 billion a year by slightly hiking sales taxes and raising income taxes on high wage earners, "I can tell you in California, you can only cut schools and university so much and then people say enough already," Brown said. "And that's exactly what they said on election night."

What has changed since Election Day is that politicians are saying they want to work together to fix fiscal cliff. What has not changed are the positions Republicans and Democrats are taking on the issue. Members of the Republican led Congress insist that raising taxes is still not an option.


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