Addressing the Federal Deficit in the Lame Duck Session of Congress & Beyond: The Role of the Bush Tax Cuts and Sequestration

A Memo to Reporters

Congress returns today for a lame duck session, and first up on its agenda will be addressing the looming expiration of $5 trillion in tax cuts signed under Presidents Obama and Bush, coupled with the phase-in of $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to federal defense and non-defense programs known as sequestration.  As Congress begins debating the best way to address this so-called “fiscal slope” and deficit reduction for the long-term, the Budget and Tax Center, a project of the NC Justice Center, is happy to serve as a resource to reporters, producers, and editorial boards covering this important issue.

Everyone agrees that Congress should address this fiscal slope and long-term debt reduction in a way that is both fiscally responsible and supportive of North Carolina and the country’s struggling economic recovery. An important part of evaluating various proposals will be answering the question: who will pay, working families or the richest among us?

It is possible to promote a balanced approach to deficit reduction that protects working families, cuts spending where appropriate, and raises new revenues through allowing recent tax cuts on the highest incomes in the nation to expire. Such an approach recognizes the specific needs of our communities and our collective responsibility to rebuild our economy for the long-term. 

PDF icon BTC Lame Duck Reporter Memo.pdf448.72 KB