The manufactured mania over the sudden rise in tax rates and austere spending cuts that will become effective in five days, commonly referred to now by the media as the fiscal cliff, which if allowed to happen is projected to give the nation another unneeded bout of recessionary cold, can be corrected retroactively by a Congress willing to do the right thing if the deadline of New Year’s Eve is missed, as it appears will happen if Congressional Republicans continue their game of national default chicken.
But the willingness to do what’s right this time, compared to the legislative train wreck that manufactured the crisis in the first place in 2011 when Tea Party movement Republicans in the U.S. House including House Speaker John Boehner saw obstruction of President Obama as their solemn partisan duty, will have real consequences with real bad repercussions if the nation is brought to the brink of default when paying for already incurred debts.
Failing to stop what every person who has any understanding on the subject says must not ever happen, to safeguard the nation’s reputation, reliability and dependability on covering its debts, seems a fate accompli if come New Year’s Day GOP stalwarts still think kicking the can down the road is what will win them kudos from American voters, who this November didn’t choose the Republican presidential candidate or the main ideas of a political party whose shrinking voter base presents big problems going forward.
With historic tax increases set to hit virtually every American come the first day of 2013, President Obama and members of the Senate are reported to be headed back to Washington on Thursday to make the most of short time at a deal to protect taxpayers and the gathering economic recovery, the Washington Post reported. The hold up lies squarely with the Republican-controlled House, which last week abdicated responsibility for resolving the crisis, leaving all eyes on the Senate. Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane wrote. They said senior aides in both parties said Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have not met or even spoken since leaving town for the weekend.”
A deal appears increasingly unlikely as the days wind down to the new year. Disagreements over deep spending cuts and sharp tax hikes is where the twain cannot meet.
Debt limit looms
The U.S. The Treasury Department says the nation will hit its $16.4 trillion federal debt limit Monday and turn to ‘extraordinary measures’ to continue borrowing. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner wrote in a letter to Congress that although the debt ceiling would be reached Dec. 31, the government could buy roughly two months’ more time before it would be unable to meet all its obligations.
If Congressional Republicans continue to play arch rivals to the White House and Senate Democrats, as they have since day one of President Obama’s first term in 2009, it runs the risk of losing even more seats in the midterm elections in 2014 than it did this year, when to the surprise of many it gained seats in the Senate and pushed past the 200-Member mark in the house, where 218 votes are needed to pass any measure. The House, unlike the Senate, has no filibuster, which Republicans have used to excess to try to defeat or derail the White House’s agenda.
Ohio Congressman and U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has earned a reputation for poor leadership, a condition that could jeopardize his chance to continue in his position, notwithstanding his party’s retention of Majority Caucus. Mr. Boehner has been fond of saying he, his party and its ideas represent what the American people want, but that is clearly a false conclusion following a national presidential election that showed, in fact, Americans want compromise today and good stewardship tomorrow.
If Congressional Republicans continue to defend millionaires and billionaires at the expense of nearly everyone else, they run the risk in two years of having their ranks dwindled even further, as voters again show that they don’t want their message or their messengers. Mitt Romney, who proclaimed himself to be the one-man solution for a nation struggling to regain its footing, was a master of numbers. But what’s been learned from post-election reports is that Mr. Romney was on top of everything but the truth, which struck him down on November 6, when he and his campaign was convinced a spectacular victory was at hand only to realize by the end of Election Day that a horrible defeat would be the reward for miscalculating and misperforming in important metric after another.
GOP flirts with angry voters
How are Americans responding to the now familiar gridlock in Washington? They are rapidly becoming more pessimistic about reaching a deal to avert the fiscal cliff, according to a poll released Wednesday, which showed public opinion has shifted 15 percentage points in less than a week.
Only 50 percent of Americans think it’s likely a deal will be struck, while 48 percent think it’s unlikely, according to a Gallup Poll conducted Dec. 21-22. Americans still overwhelmingly want their leaders to compromise to avoid the cliff, with 68 percent asking for a deal and only 22 percent hoping leaders ‘stick to their principles.
House Speaker Boehner and his Republican caucus have again asked the other side to show their cards first. House leaders said Wednesday that the Senate needs to act first on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff. Until the Senate does, they said, the House would not be brought back into session until Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “moves something through his chamber,” Politico reported.
Blame bomb ready to explode
The blame bomb is ready to explode on Republican if their intransigence to safeguarding the nation’s credit rating continues. Going over the cliff isn’t good, but it can be easily corrected. Falling into default, on the other hand, will be another comeuppance the nation can do without if the GOP wants to rebrand itself as not the party of “No,” which it earned proudly by standing in opposition to President Obama.
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