Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is among several municipal leaders from across the country pushing Congress to act now to address the upcoming fiscal cliff.
Several measures will take effect or expire at the end of the year, and if Congress doesn’t act, $100 billion in spending cuts and $380 billion in tax increases will hit simultaneously. The U.S. Conference of Mayors, of which Fischer is a member, has sent congressional leadership a letter urging them to act.
The impending sequestration process mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA) is perhaps the biggest threat to our metro economies, which represent over 90 percent of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), nearly 90 percent of all wage and salary income, 86 percent of the nation’s employment, and 94 percent of future economic growth. These automatic across-the-board cuts in defense and non-defense programs are estimated to reduce the nation’s GDP by $215 billion, decrease personal workforce earnings by $109.4 billion and cost well over 2 million jobs in only the first year. As recently as August 22, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) updated its Budget and Economic Outlook for FY 2012 to FY 2022, warning that failure to alter the currently scheduled federal tax and spending policy changes would “lead to economic conditions in 2013 that will probably be considered a recession.”
The mayors do not support a single solution, but encourage bipartisan action.
A Fischer spokesman says the mayor doesn’t personally have a preferred solution, and declined to weigh in on whether Congress should let the Bush-era tax cuts on wealthy Americans expire.