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Does Washington Want to Go Over the 'Fiscal Cliff'?

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"No matter what people said during the election, you cannot solve this deficit problem without everybody paying more taxes."

Although he acknowledges that going over the “fiscal cliff” would plunge the U.S. into recession, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean on Tuesday said that it’s the only way to bring “certainty” to Wall Street and the business community.

"No matter what people said during the election, you cannot solve this deficit problem without everybody paying more taxes. Not just rich people," Dean told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday.

Dean’s main thesis is that the pros of going over the cliff outweigh the cons of another recession.

“The economy is much stronger than it was three years ago. Do I think this is painless? Absolutely not,” he said. "Wall Street, who's moaning and groaning about this, is going to do much better ... Certainty is critical for the business community."

Dean claims that the worst thing President Obama and Congress can do -- worse than sending us over the cliff -- is apply a temporary fix to the nation's financial crisis.

"My fear is [Obama and Republicans] kick the can down the road. They'll get half the deficit reduction and then half of that will be funny money and accounting gimmicks,” he said.

"You'll be right back here in 6 or 8 months," said Dean. "I say take the medicine now and everyone will have certainty,” he added.

Meanwhile, the GOP’s counteroffer to President Obama’s “laughable” opening bid has been flat-out rejected.

And rather than sit down with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and finally get a budget deal hammered out, the White House on Tuesday hosted an array of MSNBC personalities and progressives from the Washington Post, the Daily Kos, and the Huffington Post for a discussion on (of all things) the “fiscal cliff.”

Exit Question: Considering the fact that the deadline to avoid the cliff is nearly here and ​zero progress has been made in negotiating a budget deal, do  you get the feeling that Dean isn't alone in thinking going over the cliff is an acceptable course of action?

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Featured image Getty Images.

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