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The Fiscal Cliff, A Worthless Congress, and a Broken President Obama


The end of the world is not coming this year. Not at the end of the Mayan long calender December 21st, and not New Year's Day when we hit the so-called fiscal cliff, which was a half-witted compromise to avoid responsibility by the same politicians we look to now for responsibility in government.  

Obama Fiscal Cliff

You may remember the last budgetary Armageddon when we had to raise the debt ceiling to avoid defaulting on loans and payments.  Once again unable to perform even the most basic tasks of government, Congress formed the eleventh hour “super committee” to hammer out a compromise.

They failed miserably, instead postponing action until now, under threat of huge cuts in Defense and entitlement programs tied to an end of the Bush era tax cuts for all Americans if they did nothing.  In effect, they could not put the interest of the citizens ahead of politics, and so delayed until after the recent elections doing anything.  Democrats hoped that the reelection of President Obama would give him a mandate for change; Republicans hoped they could take over the Senate and the White House.

So here we are again.  All my life I have asked whether politicians are more stupid than they are corrupt, or vice versa.  They seem to me to be equally evil and ignorant.  What has changed is how gullible they think the voters are.  I think it started with Nixon.  Tricky Dick ran as a peace candidate against Humphrey, expanded the Vietnam war after he won, and then ran for a second term as a peace candidate again. He won again, with a little help from the Watergate conspiracy, calling his platform “Peace with honor”. After winning the election, he lost the war, and proclaimed that he was not after all a crook. Another lying liar telling lies and a perfect example of the modern politico.  

Democrats know how to cheat as well; thank six term Chicago Mayor Richard Daley for getting enough corpses to vote in 1960 to get the son of a bootlegger elected president.

The current stubborn refusal of Republicans to consider any tax increase on the richest Americans is indefensible, yet they stick to the talking points fed to them by their Wall Street masters.  They say that to increase taxes on the rich and the super-rich, even to the levels they were at during the prosperous Clinton years, would lead to more unemployment.  

They even call the very wealthy “job creators.”  This ignores the logic that they have had these historically low tax rates all through the current depression/recession.  Instead of asking people with more money than they know what to do with to pay something even 1% closer to their fair share, we should cut unemployment benefits to working class families who are barely surviving, deny health care to the old and infirm, and cut funding to education which is the foundation our future is built on. In plain English a million out-of-work laborers should sleep on the sidewalk and starve, so a hundred billionaires can buy nine Ferraris next year instead of getting by with only eight.

The inabilty of our smart and articulate President to win the argument against this kind of arrogant class warfare is difficult to compehend.  Having read his books and seen him speak, I know he is intelligent, and believe him to be an honest man by the very low standards of American politicians.

Before President Obama's election against the half senile John McCain and his Fox network reality show running mate, I worried that he lacked the political experience to deal with the smoke filled back rooms of Washington. Even granting that he has to deal with some citizens who think Rush Limbaugh walks on water, and others whose racial thinking has not yet caught up with the civil war, he does have the bully pulpit and needs to make better use of it now that campaigning is off the table.  His signature achievement in his first term was the godawful compromise on healthcare which bears his name.  The best I can say about that is that it is better than nothing.

Every single person reading this column could find a sensible middle ground between the liberals and conservatives. If our do-nothing congress does deal with this issue, everyone will share the pain and nobody will be really happy. If they once again fail to act in our best interest, everybody will share the pain etc...  Either way, life is hard for the workers of the world; get by the best you can and find happiness in the things money can't buy. As to the rich; pay your taxes and stop whining, while enjoying your prosperity.

God bless America and heaven help us because our elected leaders won't.

Contact Darryl Mars at darrylmars@comcast.net

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