Other Places, Other Perspectives
Fiscal Cliff: Yet Another Engineered Crisis
October 2, 2012

As the “fiscal cliff” lurches back into the public consciousness, the political class engages in its usual disingenuous portrayal of what is actually an easily solved problem.

Democrats will say that the problem is Republicans’ refusal to go along with a reasonable tax increase on the “wealthy”, which the Democrats define as “anyone not living in a car”.

The Republicans will say that the problem is Democrats refusal to cut “entitlements”, which Republicans define as “any program whose primary beneficiaries are not defense contractors, agribusiness conglomerates, or Goldman Sachs executives”.

It’s an intractable dilemma, they will say. There are only two choices — raise taxes, or cut entitlements. Got to do one or the other. Republicans won’t raise taxes, Democrats won’t cut Social Security or Medicare, it’s an impasse.

Eventually they will stumble on the obvious solution: raise taxes and cut entitlements, and camouflage both actions in a few thousand pages of incomprehensible legalistic gibberish written by lobbyists, with a title like “Save Our Cherished Freedoms From Imminent Fiscal Terrorist Apocalypse Act”. Then insist loudly and publicly that no taxes were raised (if you’re a Republican) or entitlements cut (if you’re a Democrat), and challenge anyone to prove otherwise.

Then the MSM will crank up the propaganda machine, the talking heads will heap praise on the “grownups” in Congress who have risked their careers by making painful (defined as “trivial”) concessions, engineering a masterful compromise, avoiding gridlock and allowing the Important Business of Government to proceed (as the deficit continues to explode and the dollar plunges to parity with the Argentine peso).

Well, here’s a third choice, one that would neatly solve the problem without any need for either a tax increase or a cut to Social Security:

Stop blowing money.

Stop passing it out by the hundreds of billions to incompetent bankers. Stop shoveling hundreds of billions into the pockets of oppressive dictators in other countries. Stop spending hundreds of billions getting us into undeclared wars in third world sinkholes. Stop handing out subsidies to every big corporation capable of writing a check to a lobbyist. Stop imprisoning two percent of the population over what amounts to a poor lifestyle choice. Stop creating massive bureaucracies to regulate every trivial aspect of modern life.

In other words, stop cheating. Stop stealing from ordinary people to line the pockets of favored cronies. Do the job you were elected to do. Stop being whores, start being statesmen.

Don’t hold your breath.


Copyright 2011-12 Jack S. Emery. License is freely given to reproduce site content provided authorship is acknowledged and URL or link to the source page are prominently displayed.