Beyond the Cusp

December 31, 2012

The Looming Fiscal Cliff and Related Catastrophes Predicted by the Doomsayers

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

November 12, 2012

The Republican’s Next Step

What the Republicans should be doing is obvious and can be seen with a minimum of thought by anybody of average intelligence who has not had a lobotomy. That is why the leadership of the Republican Party will very likely blow this chance and end up being run over by the Obama administration. With their control of the House of Representatives and the limited time allotted for debate before a vote must be called, they need to pass a budget-cutting piece of legislation which will meet all the requirements necessary to avoid this so-called fiscal cliff barreling at us and scheduled to crash into us with the arrival of the New Year. These bills must not cave in one iota on the renewal of the Bush tax cuts, especially on people making over $200,000; $250,000; $500,000; $1 Million or any amount. Every person must be allowed to retain the current lower tax rate and these tax rates should be simply made permanent. Should the country reach December 1, 2012 and either the Senate or the President has refused to ratify any of the House legislations that make the necessary budget cuts and honor the people’s desire to retain the tax cuts, then they need to raise the ante and include across the board reductions or eliminations of all business taxes in addition to any extra spending cuts this would entail added in. Economic truth be told, there really is no such thing as a business tax, there is only a passed along tax on the purchasing public. This too is an obvious truth that is constantly denied by all too many politicians who will claim that they are raising the taxes on businesses and thus saving the people from being taxed more. Do they really believe that the people are so unaware of the reality that they do not understand that all taxation placed upon businesses is passed on to the public through increased prices? What makes it even more insidious is that a tax on a business is a close relative to a VAT (value added tax) as the added tax is included in any markup as the product or service makes its way to the end purchaser and thus the tax goes through multipliers at each step in their travel to the final market.

 

There are some Republicans who are seeking places to assign blame for their loss in the recent Presidential elections and are mostly either clueless or are being deceptive by avoiding the truth. The problem was not that the Republican Party was unable to garner sufficient voters who occupy this mythological area in the electorate referred to as the middle, center, undecided or unaligned voters. The reality is that there are virtually no unaligned or undecided voters and even those who can be said to actually occupy the center or middle of the political spectrum have usually actually made a decision well before Election Day. This is not to claim that there are no people who claim when polled to not have made up their minds, it is claiming that they are being less than completely forthright. All but the smallest numbers of these people have decided who to vote for but for reasons of either a personal nature or for keeping their preferences private will tell pollsters they are undecided. This is also encouraged by the press as they use those people who go along with the false classification in the way they word their polls or present the choices. I have taken polls which ask if you are an undecided or unaligned voter numerous times throughout the poll and ask questions designed to elicit the choice of undecided, unaligned or some neutral classification just to assure they get the most number of voters thusly self-categorized. Without classifying people as such the race could be predicted with far less doubt and it is the doubt and mystery of an election being able to turn either way that sells the newspaper, news station, blog, or other media outlet. The truth was that the Republican Party was even less able to excite their base, especially the most conservative, libertarian, constitutionalist and some of the religious voters. This was proven in the fact that Mitt Romney received approximately two million fewer votes than did John McCain received in 2008. The proof that President Obama was beatable was the fact that he as well received approximately two million less votes than he had in 2008. Both candidates suffered from a significant loss of voter support from their respective bases. The loss of close or more than four million voters who sat out the election was proof that the entire spectrum of the electorate was uninspired more than undecided or unaligned. The bare truth had nothing to do with the unaligned, undecided, uninformed, or un-anything other than unenthused by the choices offered.

 

The “elites” in the Republican Party will still find a way to place the blame on the conservative, constitutionalist, Tea Party members, and other voters making up the right wing classification of voters and will demand that it is necessary for the Republican Party to find a true centrist candidate for the 2016 elections. These Republican functionaries actually believe that John McCain and Mitt Romney were strong conservative candidates who were too far right to be accepted by the “political middle” and that is why President Obama won. They will claim that President Obama was successful in moving to the middle during the election and won the majority of the centrist votes. One has to believe that these excusers never heard or read anything that President Obama was saying at his campaign rallies and in the news articles and other media. Appealing to the middle is so far off the mark that it is almost laughable. The sole reason it is not laughable is because these people are serious and will possibly, if not unseated from their leadership roles, be the ones who get to influence if not outright choose the next Republican candidate who will run in 2016. If the Republican Party choice of candidates running in the Presidential Elections going forward continues on their current path, I would not be surprised to live long enough to witness the Republican Party nominate Bloomberg due to his independent political alignment and thus be able to attract that ever so elusive middle, unaligned voters. Could we start now and try to give me my ultimate dream Republican ticket for 2016 and have the following people in any combination of President and Vice-President, Col. Allen West and John Bolton. Thank you for any efforts to make this come true.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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