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Tag Archives: Fiscal Cliff

I’m Struggling (Warning: Political Post)

I want to make sure I understand this correctly.

Barack Obama was re-elected.  Yes, it wasn’t a landslide, but a majority of the American people voted for him.  The electoral college vote was not close.  He campaigned on the promise, among others, of ending the Bush tax cuts for individuals making over $250,000.  The Democrats gained seats in the United States Senate, increasing their majority there, and, while not gaining a majority in the House, more votes were cast for Democrats than for Republicans in House races.  In other words, across the board, the Democrats prevailed.

And, yet … well … and, yet … the extremists of the Republican Party, who still control the House through gerrymandered districts, believe it is in the nation’s interest to drive us over the fiscal cliff in the name of saving tax cuts for those making between $250,000 and $1,000,000.  Well, actually, it’s even worse than that.  They’re even unwilling to vote for tax increases for people making more than $1,000,000.

In the face of a fragile recovery, of record government deficits, and automatic cuts and tax increases that could end that fragile recovery, the Tea Party wing, the right wing whackos that control the House, are unwilling to consider anything … ANYTHING … that invades their ideological fortress.  They are unwilling to consider anything that is a compromise, unwilling to do what is right for the country, and unwilling to pull their heads out of their asses.  There, I said it.  Smight me down.  But, seriously, the Tea Partiers, the right wingers, are engaged in a serious act of self-buggery.  Unfortunately, in committing self-buggery, they’re f’ing with the rest of us as well.  They lost the election.  The American people spoke.  Move on.


Like Lemmings … here, let me be the first to jump off the cliff


Before the election, there was much talk about the coming fiscal cliff.  Since President Obama was re-elected and the Republicans got a bit of a smack-down, the fiscal cliff has become the hot topic, the topic de jeur, the thing that shall not happen.  It can’t.  It won’t.  It’s unimaginable.  It simply cannot and will not happen.  Why?  Because nobody likes it.  Which is the single, and only needed, reason that we must proceed over the cliff.

The best political deal is one that nobody likes.

Here’s what I understand the fiscal cliff to consist of:

1.  The end of the Bush tax cuts and a return to the Clinton era tax rates.  Call me a fan of this.  Let’s see Clinton era … converted a budget deficit to a surplus, ushered in the biggest economic boom in decades.  Interesting thing about this.  I always thought those tax measures were the result of bipartisan efforts, that it was a part of the two parties coming together.  Then I read this week’s Newsweek.  Turns out that not one single Republican in either the House or the Senate has voted for a tax increase since 1990.  Guess that whole balancing the budget wasn’t quite the bipartisan effort I thought it was.  So, who needs the Republicans this year.  Without any action, the Bush tax cuts will expire and we’ll return to the sanity of the Clinton era.  Why is this good?  It not only raises taxes on the wealthy, but on others as well.  Broadening the tax base.  count me as one person in the middle class who is willing to pay more in taxes to solve the country’s fiscal woes.

2.  Massive cuts in defense spending.  Check.  I am totally fine with cutting the bloated monster of our defense budget.  Talk about waste.

3.  Cuts and reforms to entitlement programs.  There has to be some shared pain, and it’s absolutely necessary to solve the problem.

Here’s what I believe.  The problem is too huge to solve without major new revenues and major cuts.  What I believe is that all need to share in the pain.  And, if we all do, the boom will come, just like it did during the Clinton years.  Why is that?  It’s pretty simple.  Investors, whether institutions and individuals in this country, or foreign institutions and other countries, are currently throwing more than $1 trillion a year at the federal deficit.  Imagine what might happen if that money instead was invested in companies, technology and innovation like it was during the Clinton era.

I say we shouldn’t be tiptoeing up to the cliff and pondering what might happen were we to jump.  Let’s not walk carefully to its precipice.  No, my choice would be that we run as fast as we can towards it and leap out as far as we can into the great abyss of increased revenues, real cuts, and fiscal sanity.

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