[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | Opinion/Commentary: Fiscal Cliff: California Would Lose Big | 11-19-2012
Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 6
1971 - Fort Tejon added to National Register of Historic Places [story]

Commentary by U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein
| Monday, Nov 19, 2012

With the election over, Congress must now confront several pressing issues. Foremost among those is the “fiscal cliff.”

Unless Congress acts, the new year will bring about spending cuts and tax increases that will remove $700 billion from the economy, shaving more than 3 percentage points off economic growth. Economists agree that, if left in place, this perfect storm of policy changes would result in recession. Here is what would happen if the nation goes over the fiscal cliff:

– The Bush tax cuts will expire, affecting not only individual income tax rates but also capital gains, the estate tax, education tax credits and other credits for low-income families.

– The current (lower) payroll tax rate will increase and extended unemployment benefits will end, cutting benefits for some 500,000 Californians.

– Many business tax breaks will end, including the R&D tax credit and accelerated depreciation.

– Medicare payment rates to doctors will plummet by nearly 30 percent, jeopardizing health care for seniors.

– Millions more families will fall under the Alternative Minimum Tax, raising their tax burden.

– A series of across-the-board cuts will take effect, slashing federal spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years ($109 billion in 2013) and endangering more than 2 million jobs next year.

California would be hit especially hard. A study by Professor Stephen Fuller at George Mason University shows that these cuts would cost California 230,000 jobs – 135,000 from the defense industry and 95,000 from non-defense sectors.

Yet, indefinitely delaying spending cuts and revenue increases is not an option. We have a federal debt problem that must be addressed to avoid a fiscal crisis. Replacing the fiscal cliff’s front-loaded spending cuts and tax increases with a long-term plan would achieve the deficit reduction required to stop the growth in our federal debt while minimizing the short-term economic pain.

The Simpson-Bowles Commission offered a good framework in 2010 for addressing discretionary spending, tax reform and entitlements. Such an outline, which balances spending cuts and increased revenues, is the only way we can ensure long-term growth and bring our debt under control. My hope is that President Obama will work with Congress to quickly lay out a robust, long-term deficit reduction plan before we plunge over the fiscal cliff. Such a plan, coupled with a credible down payment to shrink the budget deficit, should demonstrate Congress’ willingness to address this problem and make sure our economy does not grind to a halt. I have met several times with Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. He developed a plan over the summer that I believe accomplishes these goals. The “fiscal cliff” would be scaled down by half, and those cuts would be narrowly focused rather than made across the board. They still would be split between defense and non-defense budgets.

The Bush tax cuts would be extended, but only for those earning less than $250,000. While middle-class families have suffered during this economic downturn, those making the most have seen their wealth increase. It’s time they pay their fair share.

We must make sure more families don’t fall under the Alternative Minimum Tax and eliminate scheduled cuts to Medicare payments for physicians to ensure seniors receive proper care. To encourage economic growth, we need to extend key business tax breaks. This will help create jobs and increase revenue. This plan would reduce the $700 billion in cuts to $320 billion, limiting the economic impact and avoiding recession. And it would give Congress time to debate and pass a more comprehensive plan.

The electorate made clear its desire for both parties to work together. Right now, there isn’t anything more important than making sure the economy continues to grow and create jobs. I look forward to working with my colleagues starting this week to accomplish just that.


Dianne Feinstein represents California in the U.S. Senate. Her commentary originally appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle.


Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

Comments are closed.

Commentary Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: INFO (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Related Content
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Street painting is returning to Santa Clarita at “Chalk Art Slam” this Thursday in downtown Newhall. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be amazed once again as artists create magic on the pavement.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
We have seen many kids punch, even knock out, teachers in classroom situations or on school grounds, and that’s them “acting out because of their environment.” We are supposed to make excuses for them and not hold them accountable. But a mom gets physical to ensure her child does not act out criminal behavior, and suddenly it’s the end of the world?
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Mountain lions need to be able to travel for food, water and genetic diversity. If there are no predators left, we will be stuck with and prey animals - rats, skunks, deer - invading our urban areas in search of food. Alternate D of the Rim of the Valley Corridor plan will connect the corridors between the San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Susana Mountains, and the Santa Monica Mountains. Please come to a meeting Tuesday in Newhall or write a letter today in favor of Alternate D.
Friday, May 1, 2015
We hope you will make plans to enjoy the terrific programs and facilities right here in Santa Clarita this summer. Whether it’s a swim program, free concert in the park or viewing an international cycling event, we work hard to make your local experiences fun and memorable.
Friday, May 1, 2015
Over the next few months, you will have an opportunity to weigh in on programs and projects that will impact our community for years to come. These projects are part of our long range plan called Santa Clarita 2020.
Friday, May 1, 2015
This week Loretta Lynch was sworn in as Attorney General of the United States, replacing Eric Holder. Let’s hope for change, and for America’s sake, the replacement is a huge upgrade.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies are investigating a report of assault in Canyon Country, officials said Wednesday.
BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Report of Assault in Canyon Country
Street painting is returning to Santa Clarita at “Chalk Art Slam” this Thursday in downtown Newhall. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be amazed once again as artists create magic on the pavement.
Chalk Art Returns | Commentary by Stephanie O’Connor
Newhall School District officials approved the move to a district-based election Tuesday on a 4-1 vote, officials said.
Newhall District Moves Forward with New Voting Districts
The National Day of Prayer is an annual event held on the first Thursday of May; with the theme “Lord, Hear Our Cry,” the 64th annual National Day of Prayer will be happening Thursday, May 7, 2015.
National Day of Prayer Thursday
1971 - Fort Tejon added to National Register of Historic Places [story]
Are you a Panera Bread fan? The company announced some new ingredient changes. Plus see how two local schools were honored by California and what a principal had to say. Click the link to see those stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak with Jessica Boyer.
SCV NewsBreak for Tuesday, May 5, 2015
On May 10 outside the State Capitol building in Sacramento, 144 cyclists from 18 elite professional teams will line up to begin eight days of fierce competition in the 2015 Amgen Tour of California.
Team Rosters Announced for Amgen Tour of California
n unparalleled list of riders is preparing to compete in the unprecedented three-day women’s road race as part of the 2015 Amgen Tour of California.
Amgen Tour Women’s Road Race Team Rosters Announced
The Valencia SNAP Flyers are pleased to announce their 3rd Annual Skate-a-Thon fundraiser scheduled for May 30th at the Ice Station in Valencia, CA. The Skate-a-Thon will begin at 11:30am and conclude with a special hockey exhibition at 3:00pm. Proceeds from this event will support SNAP Sports and the Valencia SNAP Flyers Hockey Club and their efforts to continue providing quality programming to an underserved population.
Ice Station Valencia To Host 3rd Annual Skate-A-Thon Fundraiser To Benefit Special Needs Hockey
City Manager Ken Striplin presented the 2015-16 budget proposal at Tuesday night's joint study session of the Santa Clarita City Council and commissions.
City Manager Delivers 2015-16 Budget Proposal
The Accrediting Commission for Schools, Western Association of Schools and Colleges has granted Albert Einstein Academy for Letters, Arts and Sciences a six-year accreditation status through the year 2021.
Einstein Academy Receives Coveted 6-year Accreditation
We have seen many kids punch, even knock out, teachers in classroom situations or on school grounds, and that’s them “acting out because of their environment.” We are supposed to make excuses for them and not hold them accountable. But a mom gets physical to ensure her child does not act out criminal behavior, and suddenly it’s the end of the world?
Injecting Race | Commentary by Joe Messina
Parenting.com named its top 10 safest cities in the nation for 2014 and Santa Clarita California ranked third.
Parenting.com Ranks Santa Clarita 3rd Safest U.S. City
Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise company in the world, announced that the new ship currently under construction for Princess Cruises will be based in China year-round when introduced in summer 2017. Based in Shanghai, the ship will be the first year-round international luxury vessel designed and built specifically for Chinese guests.
Next Princess Ship Based Year-round in China
A dedication ceremony for a new amphitheatre at the L.A. County High School for the Arts will be held May 12 to honor Supervisor Michael Antonovich, a co-founder of the school whose generous $875,000 grant enabled completion of the 600-seat outdoor performance space.
May 12: ‘Antonovich Amphitheatre’ to be Dedicated in L.A.
Following a large response from the Santa Clarita community, United States Postal Service officials recently announced their top choice for the Newhall Post Office at a location on Lyons Avenue in the Newhall community.
Mayor: Post Office Returning to Newhall
Castaic Middle School has been honored with the state’s new Gold Ribbon School Award by the California Distinguished Schools Program.
Castaic Middle School is Honored with Gold Ribbon Award
Elizabeth Rydall is a mother, teacher, artist, blogger and breast cancer survivor. Her journey is a mélange of discoveries, disappointments, victories, revelations and relationships. Her upcoming art show, “22 Months,” will feature paintings, sculptures and photographs that dive into the realities and rawness of cancer as well as the potential to find beauty and joy in any circumstances.
May 14: Exhibit Reveals Local Artist’s Journey Through Breast Cancer
The Ford Theatres 2015 summer season is preempted due to renovations, so the Los Angeles County Arts Commission is taking the Ford on the Road. Events include more than 30 free JAM Sessions taking place all over LA County including Newhall from May to October.
First Thursdays: Ford Theatres JAM Sessions Return to Newhall
Los Angeles County Supervisor Don Knabe is proud to announce that the County’s Safe Surrender Program celebrated success for the fifth time this year with the report of a safely surrendered newborn baby girl over the weekend. This most recent Safe Surrender occurred on May 2 at a hospital in Lynwood.
Baby Girl ‘Safely Surrendered’ in Lynwood
Castaic Union School District officials have put Superintendent Jim Gibson on paid administrative leave following a board vote Monday, officials said.
Castaic Schools Chief Placed on Leave
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced that Saugus High School is being recognized as a California Gold Ribbon School for 2015.
Saugus High School Earns Gold-Ribbon Status