The Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress will convene Thursday to search for a way to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff and the chairman, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) says he thinks a solution can be found.
Casey said the first step is for the Republican-led House to pass a middle-class tax cut that allows income tax rates on the nation’s top earners to increase. “Most people who are making a lot of money understand that we have a big debt and deficit and they want to help us,” said Casey.
He said once that happens, members of both parties will be able to agree on tax reforms. “You can derive revenue from tax reform, that’s true, but you can’t get simply from tax reform, the revenue we need,” said Casey.
Casey admits that any solution also needs to include spending cuts, and he and other Democrats are ready to do that, but not if it means “breaking promises” that have been made to citizens.
“Medicare and Social Security aren’t just programs, they’re promises,” said Casey.
“There are lots of ways to find savings, there are lots of ways to find efficiencies, but the cuts that I have seen from the other side will badly injure vulnerable folks and it would also lead to the breaking of a promise that really should not be broken.”
Casey said the future of Medicare and Social Security was “endlessly debated” during the election and the “the American people spoke very clearly” that they did not want to see those programs cut.
Casey made his comments on 90.5 WESA’s Essential Pittsburgh.