The Fiscal Cliff: Recession Looms Without Compromise, Leaders in Arkansas Fear

by George Waldon  on Monday, Sep. 17, 2012 12:00 am  

Congress will face a steep fiscal cliff when it returns to Washington D.C. (Photo by Wayne DePriest)

Welch points out the national debt was a much more manageable $4.2 trillion in 1993 at the beginning of the Clinton administration. Nearly 20 years later, he hopes to see a pile of debt almost four times as big begin shrinking - but he doesn't have specific budget areas in mind to cut or taxes to increase as part of the formula.

"To dig our way out of the hole, it's not unrealistic to expect some increased taxes as part of some deficit reduction plan," Welch said.

"The Farm Bureau has long supported a balanced budget amendment. In today's environment, it's probably a pipe dream, but you can always work toward that direction.

"I don't think the citizens of this country realize how serious our budget deficit problem is and [aren't] willing to make the sacrifices we need to make to achieve a balanced budget situation."

U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., believes the seriousness of the situation and the lateness of the hour will force cooperation and something approaching workable bipartisanship.

"You talk about a fiscal cliff," he said. "I'd say we all need to hold hands and jump off ‘the cliff' together, but I hope it's not a fiscal cliff. I hope it's sort of the political cliff. That if we're all together, we're all going to be OK."

(Video: Click here to watch Pryor's comments on what the fiscal cliff means to Arkansas.)



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