One has to ask the questions and check to make sure that all are properly strapped in and have assumed the proper crash position as the entire United States goes over the Fiscal Cliff and crashes to the bottom just beyond about the time you are singing Auld Lang Syne and the clock strikes midnight. Just like the end of the movie, Thelma and Louise, the citizens are all in a convertible and heading at great speed towards the Fiscal Cliff and accelerating with one exception, unlike the movie there are no smiles for those going over this cliff. But before you put on a forlorn face, let me give you some good news and helpful advice, both of which have been in short supply of late. Firstly, do not allow any fears or other worries over the looming crashing over the Fiscal Cliff dampen your New Year’s Eve this evening, tomorrow is going to bring whatever no matter your mood, so enjoy the party tonight and tomorrow you can deal with reality once again.
Now for some fun facts about this overly hyped Fiscal Cliff. It is not so much a cliff as it is a Fiscal Curb, and even then it is a small curb of merely three maybe four inches. Any of those dread predictions will eventually be erased and will quickly fade from memory as soon as the politicians are not being watched breathlessly and can do their jobs without anybody noticing. Having watched politics for quite some time, I have found that politicians are a peculiar breed; unlike normal people who will work more diligently when being observed, politicians tend to just make grandiose gestures and pontificate in a wild manner and not actually accomplish their jobs very well when being observed. Part of the reason for this I have found is that when watched politicians actually become rather timid and will go to great lengths to not make any wrong moves. This fear of being observed making a wrong move tends to prevent them from any real actions in fear of having to explain their reasons. Politicians rarely know what they are doing so explaining why they did something is the worst challenge one can face without first having research done to tell them how to explain what they had done in an acceptable manner. So, once we stop watching their every move regarding the Fiscal Cliff they can begin to address the problems and come up with a solution.
Then there is that big issue, who to blame for the United States going over the Fiscal Cliff. Well, actually everybody and nobody. Who you blame depends on which side you favor or voted for in the November elections. For those few who actually prefer to discern exactly who is attempting to apply principles to their votes and actions and who is simply playing politics, the Fiscal Cliff is a perfect storm to explain the different sides and exactly what caused such inaction which resulted in going over the Fiscal Cliff. The first item that must be understood is that going over the Fiscal Cliff was a result of both sides refusing to compromise on certain principles. President Obama refused to compromise and to allow for all of the Bush tax cuts to remain and instead insisted that the upper tax brackets have their taxes return to the rates from before the Bush tax cuts were enacted. Many of the so-called Tea Party Republicans who were elected during the 2010 Congressional elections refused to allow any taxes to be increased as this was one of their central promises they made when campaigning and when Speaker Boehner was unable to get spending cuts included in exchange for allowing the higher taxes on the upper brackets, they refused en masse refusing to allow Plan B. The Democrats in congress held the line as President Obama had insisted while Speaker Boehner was unable to coerce sufficient Republicans to vote for any manner of tax increase and break their promises. The fears many of the Republicans are suffering are legitimate and have been proven countless times in the past fifty plus years. Numerous times the Democrats have made promises to make spending cuts in the next year’s budget if the Republicans will allow their proposed tax increases, often on the higher brackets, to pass immediately and surprisingly the spending cuts simply never ever materialize. Many Republicans have taken the view of fool me once, shame on me but fool me twice and shame on me again but eventually I will awaken to these games and learn and then you will no longer play me for a fool. I had honestly thought that it might have been possible that thanks to Speaker Boehner and his compromise Plan B that the Republicans would cave and it would have been fool me for the umpteenth time. So, actual and honest blame is of sufficient amounts that it can be spread around to almost everybody but the most should go to those who gave the Fiscal Cliff overt hyperventilating that was passed off as reporting. The only thing the vast majority of us will need to do is sit back and simply wait for all this Fiscal Cliff insanity to pass and be rendered inconsequential when the Congress and the President finally stop grandstanding, as nobody will be watching any longer, and get down to doing their actual jobs and stop screaming while all standing in a circle and pointing back and forth needlessly.
Beyond the Cusp