University of California professor Robert Reich said Tuesday night that Republicans would be the losers if Congress failed to negotiate a deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
“I think we are moving in the right direction and we are moving in the right direction because the Democrats are holding most of the trump cards,” he said. “If nothing is done, remember, we go back to the Clinton tax rates of the 1990s, which were not all that bad, in fact the economy did quite well under those tax rates. If nothing is done, basically the Republicans lose.”
“And, if the Republicans try to make a case that they are not going to vote for an extension of middle class tax cuts unless the rich also get a tax cut that puts the Republicans in the position of showing America that they are going to hold the middle hostage and they sure are shills for the very rich — something that a lot of people suspect anyway, but that kind of demonstration is not going to be good for the GOP,” Reich added.
Across-the-board spending cuts are set to go into effect at the beginning of 2013 if Congress fails to pass a budget that reduces the federal deficit. The extension of the so-called Bush tax cuts is also set to expire.
Democrats have said they won’t accept any fiscal cliff deal that doesn’t let the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans to expire, though they want to keep tax rates for middle- and lower-class Americans unchanged. Republicans have said they will oppose any increase in tax rates, but are open to reducing tax write-offs to increase revenue.
“Just by limiting deductions for the wealthy you can’t get anywhere near the $1.6 trillion,” Reich remarked.
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