Alice Rivlin, a senior economist at the Brookings Institution and an expert on the federal budget, said she believes the President and Congressional leaders will reach an agreement to avoid the mandatory tax and spending cuts known as the Fiscal Cliff. Speaking at COG’s ( Annual Meeting, Rivlin called the budgetary predicament they face an “artificial, elementary problem.”

“The so-called Fiscal Cliff is a very serious problem, but it’s a totally artificial problem that Congress created – it’s a very clear testament to the fact that our political system isn’t working and we should all express our outrage that it’s come to this,” said Rivlin.

“That said, I don’t think Congress and the President will take the country off the cliff, and if they do, not for very long. However, like when the forecast calls for a major snow storm, we need to be prepared in case it does happen.” To help the region prepare, COG launched its Metropolitan Washington Fiscal Cliff web site ( which includes news, resources, and analysis on the regional impact of major changes in federal spending.

Rivlin then proceeded to outline her solution for averting the cliff and improving the country’s long-term fiscal situation... read more at

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