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The view from the bottom of a fiscal abyss

The view from the bottom of a fiscal abyss

Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013 7:00 pm

Forty-one dollars in tax increases for every one dollar in spending cuts. That’s the shrewd deal Speaker of the House John Boehner negotiated with President Barack Obama. Obama, Boehner and other congressional leaders have known for a year and a half that these automatic tax increases and so-called spending cuts — also known as the fiscal cliff, or sequestration — were coming, and yet they did nothing. In fact, Obama seemed to gleefully taunt Republicans after his re-election in November, as though he wanted to go over “the cliff.” He taunts them still, and it will get worse.
Of course, the dolts who returned him to office see nothing wrong with penalizing the most productive people in our society in order to give them (the dolts) more free stuff. The indoctrination they have received in our government schools has taught them that even if two plus two equals four, it doesn’t matter because somehow the geniuses who represent us in Washington can make it equal seven.
Apparently, Obama was so exhausted from those two speeches he gave this week that he had to resume his multi-million dollar vacation the next morning. In fact, it was so important that he get back to Hawaii, the president left town without even signing the bill he had told us was so crucial to save us from economic Armageddon.
Before leaving, however, he informed the country that he will entertain no further debates — with Congress or anyone else, apparently — about how much of our great-grandchildren’s money he is spending. This is just a preview of the arrogance that will be on full display during his second term.
It is an inane joke to even talk about spending cuts in Washington. The last president to prevail upon Congress to actually cut government spending was Calvin Coolidge in the roaring ’20s (hint: that’s why they roared). Today, what passes for a “cut” is actually nothing but a smaller increase in what they planned to spend.
Imagine a family that made $100,000 in 2012 but spent $150,000, putting the difference on a credit card. Their plan for 2013 (while still earning $100,000, mind you) was to spend $300,000. However, on New Year’s Eve, they decide to be “responsible” and only spend $250,000. In Washington, D.C., instead of a $100,000 increase in spending, this would be called a $50,000 cut.
Of course, in Barack Obama’s world, members of our hypothetical family would be forced to change their lifestyles to accommodate the government. The stay-at-home mom would have to go to work in order to pay for the increased costs of gasoline, food, clothing, housing, insurance, health care and everything else the family needs to survive. And that, of course, when added together with what could be found in the children’s piggy bank, would reclassify the family as “rich,” which would necessitate an additional tax penalty in order to make them pay their “fair share.”
There is now talk of a challenge to Boehner for the position of speaker. Do you think it will make a difference? Would House Majority leader Eric Cantor be a better negotiator? Would he be able to stop this spending spree? In the United States Senate — run by Democrats — they have not even passed a budget during Obama’s entire first term.
In a matter of weeks, this temporary New Year’s Eve fix will culminate in exactly the debate Obama claims he simply will not have, the one over raising the debt limit another $2 trillion — that’s a two with 12 zeros behind it — which will not even fund this out-of-control government for six months.
This is not a fiscal cliff. This is fiscal insanity. It is a fiscal abyss, and we are about witness the view from amidst the rubble at the bottom of it.
© 2013 by Doug Patton — Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at and/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.

Published in The Messenger 1.4.13

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