Howard Dean: ‘I think we ought to go over the fiscal cliff’

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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The so-called fiscal cliff is a term used to describe what will happen if lawmakers allow certain tax cuts to expire and also allow spending cuts to take effect. The danger, according to the Congressional Budget Office, is that this combination will send the U.S. economy back into recession.

And that is exactly what former Vermont Democratic Gov. Howard Dean thinks is the correct course of action. On Friday’s “Morning Joe” on MSNBC, the former DNC chairman made that proposal as the least of all evils.

“I’ll put a little controversy in right before we go to the break,” Dean said. “I think we ought to go over the fiscal cliff and the reason to go over the fiscal cliff — it’s a terrible alternative — it’s better than the rest of them.”

Dean said that such policy measures would be painful at first, but that in the long-term they would bring greater stability.

“If you do that, you go through two quarters of recession according to CBO and then we come out and you eliminate a tremendous portion of the deficit, and you cut defense, which hasn’t been done for years and years and years. You restore the Clinton tax rates which we are going to have to do because we have to pay more. No, I think we ought to go over the fiscal cliff. It’s not a great alternative but the Congress is incapable of anything else. We ought to do it.”

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