Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Fiscal Cliff: A Political Storm in a Water Glass – Roger Ingalls

“The fiscal cliff”, that’s a scary sounding phrase. If you say it real slow and low it sounds even more frightening. It’s amazing how pundits and mainstream media move from one political danger scene to the next like a well edited film with the whole thing directed by our politicians. Sound bites and scare tactics, it’s a coordinated attempt to boost ratings for media companies and make the suits in Washington look like they’re solving some country-killing crisis.

The election is over so now we’ve moving on to the next big thing…the fiscal cliff. I believe this is a big to-do about nothing. We’re led to believe that come January 2nd, 2013 the economy will collapse if some nebulous balance of debt reduction and tax revenue collection isn’t successfully negotiated by our dysfunctional politicians. Really! If we’re relying on this motley crew of brainiacs to solve our economic woes, the party’s already over.

Would it be so catastrophic if we reached the end of the year without an agreement? The temporary tax breaks set in place by the George W Bush administration would come to an end if agreement isn’t reached. Essentially, Federal taxes would roll back to the Clinton era rates. Is this so outrageous? The country’s economic condition during the Clinton administration was one of the best in U.S. history.

In addition, government spending would automatically get cut if agreement isn’t reached. The biggest reduction would be in defense spending but the cuts would not come close to levels during the Clinton era. During the George W presidency defense spending tripled and we have nothing to show for it. Rolling back military budgets to similar levels used during the Clinton presidency is not outrageous. Again, the country ran extremely well during this period.

Lastly, if we hit the so called fiscal cliff due to lack of political agreement, Medicaid and Social Security would stay intact.

If political deadlock in Washington returns us to the responsible tax rates and spending of the Clinton administration then I say yes to the fiscal cliff. The frenzied screams of a pending financial crisis is overblown.  I can’t see why this looming event is being called a potential catastrophe.

I say we call Washington’s bluff and tell them we don’t want agreement, give us the cliff.

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