By: Neil W. McCabe , 12/6/2012 —
The Buckeye State senator who coached W. Mitt Romney for his debates with President Barack Obama sent a Dec. 5 letter urging the president to give up his drive for unlimited borrowing authority with or without a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff.
“You have said that substantial increases in the national debt are ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unpatriotic,’ and you once pledged to cut the budget deficit in half. We agree that Washington must rein in the debt, which is one reason we strongly oppose your proposal to eliminate Congress’s role in establishing a federal debt limit,” said Sen. Robert J. Portman, the junior senator from Ohio credited with the former Massachusetts governor’s debate success, in the letter signed by 44 of his GOP colleagues.
The fiscal cliff is the term of art for the expiration of tax rates enacted since 2001, and a variety of tax deductions coupled with automatic spending cuts to both social services and military programs slated to take effect Jan. 1.