In perhaps the most pessimistic view of the status quo of fiscal cliff negotiations, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday on CBS’ “Face The Nation” that “we’re going over the cliff.””I think we’re going over the cliff. It’s pretty clear to me they made a political calculation,” Graham said of President Barack Obama’s opening offer, which includes $1.6 trillion in tax hikes and $400 billion in entitlement cuts.
“The president’s plan does nothing but damn us to becoming Greece,” Graham said, who called the entitlement cuts “a joke.”
Graham’s sentiments characterised what was an overall grim picture painted by both sides of the political aisle on the Sunday morning talk shows. Both House Speaker John Boehner and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner weren’t as pessimistic, but they both would not say if a deal would be reached in time to avert the series of tax increases and spending cuts set to kick in Jan. 2.
“If Republicans are not willing to let rates go back up – and we think they should go back up to the Clinton levels, a time when the economy is doing exceptionally well – then there will not be an agreement,” Geithner said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Graham said that the idea Obama has a mandate does not apply on his idea to increase marginal rates on incomes above $250,000. He said Republicans have given enough concession by signaling a willingness to close loopholes and cap deductions to raise revenue.
“My side knows we lost the election and we’re willing to put revenue on the table,” Graham said. “That’s movement in a positive way.”
Watch the clip of Graham’s “Face the Nation” appearance below:
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