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

Archive for the tag “fiscal cliff”

Fiscal Cliff: Elephant in the Room – Roger Ingalls

With all this hyped-out talk about the Fiscal Cliff, raising taxes, cutting Social Security and Medicare, why isn’t anyone talking about the obvious?

Yes, we need to let the temporary tax cuts given to the rich during the George W. Bush administration expire as originally promised almost a decade ago. And we need to cut some spending in the right areas.

Defense Spending

Defense spending is the elephant in the room. All the politicians are ignoring the obvious. The military budget has tripled since 2002 and is the significant contributor to the debt. Social Security and Medicare are not the evil entitlements as promoted by the Conservatives.

I do not believe defense spending will be reduced to appropriate levels. In time, many politicians get appointed to the boards of defense contractors and they also receive campaign contributions from organizations associated with them. It’s not in the best interests of our elected officials to reduce defense spending.

We all know the world is not going to end if Washington does not come to a Fiscal Cliff agreement by the end of the year. It’s just political rhetoric meant to draw our attention away from the real problems.

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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