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Harlan Goerger, Fargo, Published December 22 2012

Letter: The ‘red herring' in fiscal cliff talk

Once more Washington, D.C., is pulling the red herring on the citizens of the U.S. One cannot listen to the media without hearing about the “fiscal cliff” and tax hikes that will occur. Question is: Is this the real issue? Most of the tax hikes would be felt, but not that dramatically by most.

In more than 20 interviews and statements recently, the politicians all talked about the tax rate increases as the big issue. Yet not one mentioned the other side of this cliff that is terrifying Congress. Most citizens seem to buy into this red herring diversion and deception.

How soon we forget: In 2011 the super committee was created to work out budget cuts equal to the increase in the debt ceiling. It failed, and the Budget Control Act of 2011 came into full force with its automatic cutting of $1.2 trillion across the board of Washington spending. This is a mandatory cutting of existing budgets for virtually every agency and department of the U.S. government. Guess when the cuts go into effect? Jan. 1, 2013. How many politicians or media reports have mentioned this?

The real fear Washington has is the reality that the unlimited spending they are used to may hit a brick wall. Thus they deflect the truth and talk about false fiscal cliffs centered on tax hikes in the hope they can pass legislation nullifying the mandatory $1.2 trillion cuts prior to Jan. 1 and the citizens will buy it and allow it. Once more, they are caught in their own “kick the can down the road” trap.

The best thing that could happen to this country is to go over the “fiscal cliff” and have the $1.2 trillion in cuts fully enacted.

I would encourage every citizen to contact every House and Senate member and tell them to enact the cuts and forget the red herring over tax hikes. Ask our Congress to step up, actually represent the citizens and do what is in the law and morally right.