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January 01, 2013

Critics Complain About Fiscal Cliff Compromise

by VOA News

The U.S. Senate compromise intended to avert the most immediate consequences of the fiscal cliff is drawing criticism from many parts of the political spectrum.

A public interest group that has been urging Washington to do more to balance its spending and revenue, The Concord Coalition, said the Senate made "no hard choices" and solved "no difficult problems." The group's leader, Robert Bixby, said the deal did not solve the problem of rising costs for pension and medical care programs for the elderly, did not reform the tax system, delayed efforts to cope with scheduled drastic spending cuts, and did not address the need to raise Washington's legal limit on borrowing.

The Campaign for America's Future, called the deal "ugly," and echoed many of Concord's criticisms. The liberal group also said the Senate action would allow a temporary 2 percent cut in payroll taxes to expire. This could add $1,000 to the tax burden paid by someone making $50,000 a year. Some economists say the expiring tax cuts will slow the consumer spending that drives most U.S. economic activity.

​​Opinion articles in The New York Times called the measure "tepid" and a "fiscal flop" and said the compromise is a missed opportunity to make needed political and economic reforms.  

A story in The Wall Street Journal called the deal a "classic compromise" with something for "everyone to love - and hate."