“Falling Off the Fiscal Cliff”

Fiscal Cliff

 As if our economy isn’t shaky enough already here we are on the periphery of the Fiscal Cliff, just 18 days away from certain economic disaster, yet all across the country Americans are busy shopping and preparing for the Christmas holidays seemingly oblivious to the severity of our current monetary crisis. 

Hello! maybe you haven’t noticed but the Fiscal Cliff is for real and if not resolved in time, American’s will be hit with the largest tax increase in 60 years, household incomes will be reduced and the unemployment rate will climb to back over 9%. All of which will shake the confidence of consumers and investors alike and result in an official recession.

Yes, it appears that things could get very ugly indeed! But the talking heads in Congress don’t seem to care. They just keep chasing their tails and getting nowhere. If they don’t get their collective head out of their ass soon and start working together with President Obama to forge a workable solution to the situation, we are doomed.

So what is this Fiscal Cliff we’re all about to fall over? Well it’s quite simple really, in a nutshell the Fiscal Cliff is a two part package: tax cuts set to expire on December 31 and across-the-board government spending cuts scheduled to become effective January 1st. Together they would reduce the federal deficit by as much as $770 billion. Initially you’d thing that would be a good thing right? It’s not. Why? Because we are still recovering from the last recession! Cutting federal spending by such a significant amount and raising taxes at the same time will send the economy into a tailspin and we will be right back in the depths of another recession in 2013. Here we go again!

Yes the Fiscal Cliff awaits us, just off on the horizon like some gigantic storm, growing closer with each passing day. I suppose the big question is “Can Congress reach a compromise in time?” As late as yesterday it certainly didn’t appear so. The party line was holding fast with Republicans opting for spending cuts with no tax increases and Democrats looking for some sort of combination of spending cuts and tax increases. Political gridlock.

As it now appears our congressional asses will continue their evil ways until the very last minute before agreeing to some sort of temporary stop-gap measure that pushes the brunt of the problem into 2013 or beyond. Actually if Congress decides to extend the tax cuts and cancel the automatic spending cuts the end result will be modest growth and no major economic hits. However it is not the permanent solution we really need. 

I guess what troubles me most is that this Fiscal Cliff problem has been around all year yet Congress has kept it on the back burner and not sought a direct solution until recently. I may be wrong but I still think these idiots can find a permanent solution to this problem and reach an accord in time. All it would take is a few good Republicans with the cajones to do the right thing and cross party lines. Will they? Probably not, we’ll just have to wait and see. Should they? Definitely!

The Congressional debate on the Fiscal Cliff taking place in Washington should not be about either party or their politics. It’s about what is best for our country. It’s about working together and compromise, at least it should be. Some call crossing party lines political suicide, I call it being a team player for America! Besides, those who see it as a career ending move could be wrong. If the end result of their actions proves to be a workable policy that benefits the many, those brave Republicrats may indeed stand a chance of surviving the game of politics. But will enough Republicans man up to make a difference? Only time will tell, and time is the one thing we’re quickly running out of.

Just Saying

JS

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