With all this hype and focus on the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” http://rootshed.com/article/the-cliff-that-gives-all-the-others-a-bad-name, one would think that the major news media sources would drill down into each competing proposal for resolving the “Cliff”. Based upon what I have read and watched, few sources have made that effort.
The consensus that emerges from those few expert sources who have analyzed the opposing “Cliff” resolution plans and been candid in discussing the results of their analysis is as follows: 1) with regard to the “net reduction” in future deficits moving forward, there is very little difference between the plans; 2) the differences that keep the two sides from agreeing on a “Cliff” deal are primarily ones of structure, form, and political advantage.
Do you realize the enormity of that analysis? Essentially, Congressional and Executive leaders have been unable (or unwilling) to arrive at a reasonable budget compromise for over two years now. Along the way, because of their mutual intransigence, Congress agreed on a stopgap measure that postponed real decision-making until this coming week – on the premise that it spared either side from political fallout during the 2012 election campaign. Therefore, in order to avoid political pain, they were willing to bring the country (and the world, since we are the biggest global economic power) to the brink of the much-ballyhooed (but little understood) “Cliff”. However, we were told by many supposed experts “not to worry”, since their conviction was that these leaders would absolutely not fail to find common ground on a resolution before January 1 (even if only temporary)
Unfortunately, given the gamesmanship and stubbornness apparent from both sides, we are now witnessing firsthand the continuing failure of our nation’s leaders to demonstrate even an ounce of statesmanship and political courage. It feels as though they are so focused on the political battle that they have lost track of any genuine sense of the health and welfare of the nation as a whole.
In the process, our leaders have proven to be just as unable and incompetent in addressing our burgeoning indebtedness as the leaders of the Eurozone have been in working through their own (even bigger) debt issues. Meanwhile, without action by January 1, our leaders are putting in jeopardy the image of the U.S. as a bastion of democracy, reasoned government, and financial strength… not to mention the welfare of the most needy folks among us. It is almost as though they are playing “Russian Roulette” with the welfare of the country and the global financial markets, showing little regard for either along the way. If the gun “goes off”, it will be you and I that pay the price – not the high and mighty playing games in Washington D.C. But neither side will be able to claim anything but a pyrrhic victory… and shame will properly fall upon all!