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La Prensa, Honduras

The Abyss

By Editorial

Translated By Deonca Williams

2 January 2013

Edited by Natalie Clager

Honduras - La Prensa - Original Article (Spanish)

It’s one thing to avoid falling into the abyss, but it’s very different to try to get out of the abyss. In both scenarios, one needs a straightforward approach to make clear progress. The international community has been keeping a close watch on the negotiations between the White House and the Capitol, which aim to increase taxes and reduce spending.

Using more resources while spending less is the goal of the bill drafted at the last minute at the stroke of the bell. This legislation aims to end the last assault of a tough fight that featured prominently in President Obama’s campaign promise to increase taxes and combat the dogma that has been maintained by the Republicans since the 1990s concerning their refusal to raise taxes.

President Obama planned to raise taxes on those households earning $250,000 a year or more, but the new agreement stated taxes would be increased for individuals earning $400,000 a year or more and for families earning $450,000 a year or more. Their tax rate would increase from 35 percent to 39 percent. The issue of budget cuts was agreed to, but it will not take effect until two months from now. The savings amounts to $100 billion in addition to the increase in revenue, which represents a sigh of relief for the United States budget.

The deal has been welcomed with great optimism in the world’s financial markets as reflected in significant increases in contributions. In the battered euro zone there was much euphoria; a recession in the world’s largest economy would definitely reduce any options for recovery for the European economies.

The political aspect of the agreement is significant for the immediate future of the United States legislature. The upcoming budget negotiations to raise the debt ceiling, cut costs and keep better accounting of the operations of the federal government forces the Republicans and Democrats to work with one other because the last-minute deal and negotiation lack the strength to boost the economy and tackle the deficit in the long run.

In Honduras the budget crisis is getting worse and there are no signs that reflect the contrary. Spending accelerates deterioration; there are a plethora of loans from foreign countries; and domestic debt is sky high.

Honduras’ budget this year takes into account figures from better economic times. The budget reflects spending with the only support being exaggerated predictions in an already crumbling economy. When taking into account the cooperation and assistance from friendly countries and international agencies, we still arrive at the same dismal numbers.

The executive branch is not seen as being responsible for Honduras’ abyss, as the prime ministers have the final say. What about the elections? Don’t the candidates have power? In Washington the abyss was avoided, but in Honduras we sink deeper into it.



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