The dangers of the "fiscal cliff" are by now well known. Most agree that the year-end $500 billion in tax increases and $110 billion in arbitrary, across-the-board discretionary spending cuts, including defense, must be averted to avoid plunging the U.S. economy back into recession. But how the danger is averted is important. To keep from getting right back on another cliff, President Obama and Congress must address the underlying problems of excessive spending and weak economic growth.
Washington needs to pursue structural reforms in the country's important but unsustainable entitlement programs and in an inefficient, outdated tax code. By doing so, lawmakers can responsibly avoid the immediate cliff while addressing the long-term fiscal crisis and spurring job creation.
Wall Street Journal
December 11, 2012