As I write this on Sunday night, we should be preparing for a New Years’ Eve celebration. Instead, we are 24 hours from being shoved off a cliff.
Congress did agree on a farm bill, temporarily, because of a threatened spike in milk prices. Too bad the fiscal cliff that threatens the whole economy doesn’t get the same attention before we all get milked.
The big question in Washington is, “Who gets the blame?” President Obama WANTS the blame for new taxes on the top 2%. He has talked so much about that tax that the other 98% are ignoring the taxes and increased costs that almost everybody will pay in 2013, including health care taxes and Social Security. Meanwhile, the President is determined to avoid the blame for any real cuts in government benefits and programs that Republicans insist on.
While the President has repeated over and over that he wants between $0.8 and $1.6 Trillion over 10 years in new taxes on the rich, he is foggy on what to cut. Well, I dug up a list, and his cuts for 2013 add up to $0.001 Trillion. Over 10 years that would be $0.01 Trillion.
Washington Democrats do not know the meaning of the word “cut.” Tonight Harry Reid praised Republicans for “taking Social Security cuts off the table.” But Republicans never proposed a cut, only a possible reduction in the annual increase in payments.
The President is determined. He is “holding the course” hoping that eventually the spirit and determination of successful Americans will overcome all obstacles thrown in their path and put the country on solid economic footing again. He is counting on the big taxpayers to keep on working long hours to earn more, then investing productively whatever dollars they don’t send to Washington rather than squirreling them away.
Have we ever had a president so dependent on those he openly dislikes? Suppose the business folks that he put down when he said ‘You didn’t build that’ decided to pull back, relax, and become lackadaisical about turning a profit, hiring more people, and growing the business. Suppose the oil and gas and coal companies gave up drilling and mining in the U.S. and Canada, letting the price of gasoline and electricity double.
However, President Obama is a student of Franklin Roosevelt. President Roosevelt admitted he made a mistake by cutting spending in his fifth year (1937), which resulted in a bump in unemployment and prolonged the Depression. So he could be right to insist on no cuts.
Historic quotes by Will Rogers:
“Congress meets tomorrow morning. Let us all pray. Oh Lord, give us strength to bear that which is about to be inflicted upon us. Be merciful with them, oh Lord, for they know not what they’re doing. Amen.” DT #102, Dec. 5, 1926
“This country has gotten where it is in spite of politics, not by the aid of it. That we have carried as much political bunk as we have and still survived shows we are a super nation.” DT #1948, Nov. 1, 1932