Graham: 'I think we're going over the cliff'
December 2nd, 2012
12:46 PM ET
8 years ago

Graham: 'I think we're going over the cliff'

(CNN) - Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham was blunt in his assessment Sunday of where negotiations to avert the fiscal cliff are headed. "I think we're going over the cliff," he said.

"It's pretty clear to me they've made a political calculation," the South Carolina senator said on CBS' "Face the Nation," calling the administration's initial proposal offered Thursday "a joke" when it comes to entitlement reform. Graham, like other Republicans, has said he's willing to accept new tax revenue, but only if it comes with significant changes to entitlement programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

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A key sticking point, as well, is where that revenue will come from - from increasing tax rates on families making more than $250,000 a year as the White House wants, or from closing loopholes and eliminating some tax deductions as the Republicans prefer.

On CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said there'd be no agreement without an increase in tax rates for the wealthiest Americans, and if that meant going over the fiscal cliff, Republicans would be to blame.

Graham defended his party: "My side knows we lost the election, and we're willing to put revenue on the table that will get some political heat for people like me. That is movement in a positive way. Republicans should do revenue. We're willing to do it in a smart way."

He went on to say that raising tax rates would raise less revenue than limiting deductions and would also hurt job creation.

He also reiterated the need to reform entitlements.

"One hundred percent of Americans are going to lose everything we know as America if we don't fix entitlements. We're becoming Greece because of out-of-control entitlement spending.... The president's plan does nothing but damn us to becoming Greece."

Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • Lindsey Graham
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. HistoryGeek

    People on SS and Medicare are NOT the problem!!!!!! Look at the military budget and cut out the wars!

    December 2, 2012 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  2. CaliforniaBC

    Time the GOP to come to the realization that the public supports Obama's and the Democrats' plans and will wholly blame the GOP if we go over the cliff. It is time for the Republicans to face the realities... they need to compromise A LOT and take "tail between the legs" stance.

    Just sit down, keep quite and let the adults fix things.

    December 2, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  3. Steve

    Lawyers making economic decisions, heaven help us all.

    December 2, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  4. HMAC

    Mr. Graham, I don,t believe anyone appreciates your sense of humor or what you consider to be a joke. That seems to be the main problem, your definition of compromise is distorted by your ego. It appears you cant seem to get past this power hang over from indulging in your power binging the last four years. Get out of the way and let someone who is not so delusional take the responsibility of getting something done.

    December 2, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    This is nothing new: For the last four years, Repubs have done everything to make President Obama and our country fail, so they can blame the President for their own mistakes and folly.

    As November 6, 2012 proved, a majority of Americans did not fall for the GOP's lies. If Repubs want to live in denial of reality, fine. The rest of us are moving FORWARD!

    December 2, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. Squigman

    This moron looks like he went over something. If we do, we do. Maybe many of the republicans will be replaced by people capable of thought and compromise.

    December 2, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  7. ST

    This man Lindsey Graham is losing his credibility each day which goes by. He said: "I think we are going over the cliff". Any good leader never tell those he is leading to get prepared for bad thing to happen, instead of assuring them he is working out to find the solution even if he knows it is hard.
    These kind of leaders should be booted out. They are disgusting.

    December 2, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Anthony in California

    Graham actually said this with a straight face? Impressive. Now lets all buckle up and go over the cliff. According to Boehner during the Fiscal deals, he got "90 percent of what he wanted". And Americans got the President they wanted. So Mr Graham, and Mr.Boehner.. check, and mate.

    December 2, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. lawrence scott

    its so sad that senator lindsey graham and his partner john mccainof arizona and the gop who by the way was trounced in this last election they just dont get it the american people have spoken with a clear message if they continue to go along with the tea party they will be thrown out of the house of representives . the president have presented these people with his plan instead of coming up with a counter proposal they just continue to play games the american public isnt stupid they or on to your games . they either must come on board and be true patrotic americans are get out of the kitchen and fast enough is enough .

    December 2, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  10. Pete

    Graham,McConnell,Cantor are yes going over the cliff while Boehners behind the wheel,obviously he's been delushional again thinking its before the elections and he can get away with this nonsense..But the facts are clear guys either work with Pres.Obama and Geithner or look for new work after midterms,its your political backs against the wall you arrogent nitwits not the president..And if he does let the Bushs extensions go expire,so what they'll write up a new bill you'll have to sign and you know it to take care of the middleclass and poor the 98%ers ,its political suicide if you don't go along with it so have fun guys,isn't karma great!!!

    December 2, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  11. myway

    Graham needs to consider if he wants the government that pays his salary to get well or not. All the GOP proposals to avoid heading over the cliff have been jokes at best. Possibly Graham will come to his senses when he gets a little closer to the cliff edge.

    In case that hasn't been made clear enough, the GOP will most likely pay a hefty political price if they keep obstructing the tax issue forcing the economy into another recession. In past decades the GOP has become proficient in causing recessions, so why stop now?

    Taxes need to go up. They can't be raised on the middle class that has been taxed too heavily in the past and effectively hasn't gotten a raise in over 30 years. The top earners on the other hand have seen income increases in several 100% during the same period while their taxes have been shrinking. Even a grade school kid could figure out there's something wrong with this picture.

    December 2, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    And you have some responsibility. Why don't you try doing your JOBS!

    December 2, 2012 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. SafeJourney

    If we do go over the cliff Graham. You Boehner and Mc Connell will be the first to get booted out of office. Next will be Cantor and so on down the TP line

    December 2, 2012 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Chicadow

    I know the Republican plan was to do nothing except make sure Obama didn't get reelected. But now that they've had their collective butt handed to them, shouldn't they have a new plan to do something productive?

    Oh that's right, I almost forgot, there is another election coming up in just four years!

    December 2, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. Martha in CF

    It will be the Redumblicans fault if we do that. Look out redumbs in 2014.

    December 2, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. rs

    Do it, Ghraham, do it. It will mean the death of the GOP. As it is little more than an anti-American, economic terrorist organization with allegiance to lobbyists over real-live Americans so be it. You guys won't be missed.

    December 2, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
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