WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

As Fiscal Cliff Looms, Gap On Tax Policy Remains

Play associated audio

The election is over and now the hard task of policy making resumes. Before President Obama and members of the new Congress take their oaths, the 112th Congress is returning to session. In January, deep spending cuts will hit the Pentagon and Virginia's defense industry if they don't take action.

Lawmakers also need to decide whether to extend all, none or some of the Bush tax cuts. From the way Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner are talking, tax policy remains a hurdle.

"There was message sent to us by the American people based on the campaign and that is people making all this money have to contribute a little bit more," Reid said in a press conference Wednesday.

Boehner countered in a press conference of his own. "But a balanced approach isn't balanced if it means higher taxes on small businesses that are the key to getting our economy moving again and keeping it moving," Boehner said.

Americans are frustrated by partisan jockeying, but many have come to expect it. Michelle Weatherly of Northern Virginia says she's doubtful a deal can be made because "the feelings are so bitter in Washington."  

"At my age I've gotten quite cynical unfortunately," she says. "But it's true … I think it's just really sad how no one can agree on anything."

Keannan Srinivasan, a Virginia Democrat, also has a message for his party: reach across the aisle or the economy won't improve. 

"And of course they aren't going to get it done unless they reach across the aisle because it's not an absolute majority," Srinivasan says. "And I'll be very frank with you. Even when they had absolute majority the first two years they couldn't get everything done." 

But as both congressional party leaders said Wednesday on Capitol Hill, now is the time to work together. The nation is watching to see if they stand by those words. 


Making Art Off The Grid: A Month-Long Residency At A Remote National Park

Filmmakers Carter McCormick and Paula Sprenger recently wrapped up a month as artists-in-residence at Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west of Key West. No phone, TV, Internet or other people.

After A Long Day Of Fighting Climate Change, This Grain Is Ready For A Beer

Kernza is a kind of grassy wheat that traps more carbon in the soil than crops like wheat and rice. Now, a West Coast brewery is using the grain in its new beer called Long Root Ale.
WAMU 88.5

Why Millions Of American Men Have Left The Workforce, And How To Bring Them Back

Today’s unemployment rate is down sharply from the height of the Great Recession. But more than a fifth of American men had no paid employment last year, and seven million of them have stopped looking altogether. Why men are leaving the workforce – and how to bring them back.

WAMU 88.5

Jet Noise Is No Joke For Residents Burned By Report About Airport Complaints

Nobody wants to own up to making thousands of complaints about noise from planes flying out of Reagan National Airport. But nearby residents say the noise definitely has gotten worse recently. And there appears to be a specific reason — a new air traffic control system.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.