Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff

Ok, the election is over and now we can focus on the so-called Fiscal Cliff.

The cliff is a series of things that are scheduled to happen on January 1, 2013 including expiration of tax cuts and automatic spending reductions. Tax cuts that will expire include all of the Bush tax cuts, the payroll tax deductions and the tax cuts made as part of the stimulus package in 2009.

The CBO estimates the total impact at about $670 billion dollars. Most financial analysts do not believe that the still fragile economy could absorb that sort of shock. They expect stock prices to plummet, unemployment to jump back up to near 10% and the economy to nose dive into a recession, or worse, in the first half of 2013.

The Republicans have already taken the position that any agreement to head off the Fiscal Cliff must include a reduction in tax rates especially for the wealthiest citizens.

Now, I’m not sure going off the cliff is a real good idea, but I know when someone wants to play chicken. If I were Obama I’d look Boehner right in the eye and say “if that’s your position, I’ll see you at the bottom of the cliff.”

I’d also make it crystal clear to the American public that it’s the Republican intransience that's sending us off that cliff even if the message doesn’t stick and it probably won’t. I’d then sit back and enjoy the ride because it’s going to be a wild one.

At least when all is said and done we’ll know where we are and can start putting things back together. Or, maybe not. Perhaps this is the event that leads to the apocalypse and the end of civilization as we know it. A downward economic death spiral from which there is no recovery until billions have perished and we’re reduced to an agrarian society.

If that’s what the Republicans want to risk, so be it. I’m just so tired of their bullshit.

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