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Niles Eastman, Fargo, Published December 29 2012

Letter: Congressman Berg to lead way?

In response to the Dec. 27 Forum editorial, “The edge of the cliff very close,” I am glad that the issue of raised taxes for Americans was addressed. However, I think it’s important to note that while talks on the “fiscal cliff” have been unproductive due to a “… government paralyzed by partisanship and ideology,” as the editorial puts it, there is a simple, common- sense step that Congress and the president can take now to protect the majority of Americans.

By passing a simple extension of tax cuts on the first $250,000 to $400,000 of income, Congress can protect 98.5 percent of Americans and prevent many of the worst effects of the cliff. Failing to do so means a raise of $1,600 to $2,200 in taxes for middle-class families, translating into 1.6 million fewer jobs and a loss of $200 billion in consumer spending. This is not partisan politics, this is not an ideological agenda – a middle-class tax cut extension is a simple action that can prevent a slide back into the recession.

The editorial calls for leadership across party lines, and that leadership can start right here. I urge Congressman Rick Berg, R-N.D., to lead the way, to reach across the aisle and to vote for a simple extension of the middle-class tax cuts. We have only days until the “cliff.” Let’s make sure the new year is a happy one.