Thursday, December 6, 2012

The End Is Near!

The news is abuzz with impending doom and the threat of the end of the world.  No, I don't mean December 21st and the Mayan calendar.  I'm referring to December 31st and the so-called fiscal cliff.  I won't bore the enlightened readers here with an explanation of the term.  If you aren't already aware, read up on it here.

For President Obama, this isn't about saving the American economy; nor is it about fairness and protecting the middle class.  This is about Obama getting his way - without compromise.  Some say that the Democrats won the election and such behavior is one of the spoils of victory.

The President had both houses of Congress in 2009 and spent the entire year pushing Obamacare, which was passed without a tax rate hike.  The fact that the President is now proposing significant tax hikes during a recession is a clear indication that he is either clueless about basic economic principals or is just being intellectually dishonest.  Personally, I believe both.  Intellectual honesty and fairness would include a flat tax proposal.  I'm honestly trying to see his point of view on this, but intellectually speaking, I cant get my head that far up my own ass.

Former DNC Chairman Howard Dean said the following:  "the truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich. And it’s a good start.  But we’re not going to get out of this deficit problem unless we raise taxes across the board, to go back to what Bill Clinton had and his taxes.  And if we don’t do that, the problem is the pressure is going to be on spending even more.”  I find it interesting that Dean doesn't see spending as the problem now.  Maybe I shouldn't.  I mean after all, Dean is a "progressive" liberal and what we're talking about here is other peoples' money.  Obama's goal is to re-define the middle class, just like he re-defined "millionaires" as people making $250,000 per year.  Rest assured that your support for raising taxes on the evil rich will also be your support for your own tax hikes and you will be reminded of your willingness to ask others to pay their "fair share" when Obama makes the same demand on you.

When it comes to the economic impact of taxes on the economy, Obama and modern liberals sure could learn a great deal from this guy:

Given the acknowledged (by the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office) fact that the revenue collected from the tax hike on "the rich" will only cover eight days of interest on our debt, it's clear that Obama's tax hike is nothing more than class warfare.  No one should be surprised here.  Class warfare was a foundation of both of Obama's Presidential campaigns.  It's a rare example of a politician actually doing what he said he would do.  But I digress.

Obama sent his Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to meet with House of Representative leader John Boehner with a plan to raise taxes now and a promise to find cuts to the budget in "the future".  Does anyone else see the irony in Obama sending Geithner (who failed to pay his own taxes) to pitch a plan to raise ours?  While I trust a Marxist to keep his promise to raise taxes, I do not trust him to actually cut budgets and entitlements.  If you believe these tax hikes will not affect you at your income level, then you were probably naive enough to vote for Obama in the first place.

Imagine two scenarios:
  1. You tell your boss that your spouse refuses to stop spending more money than you earn and you demand he give you a raise.
  2. Your boss tells you that his spouse refuses to stop spending more money than he earns and he has to cut your pay.
Obviously either scenario is bullshit.  Unfortunately, #2 applies to us all.  As long as our government continues to fund pork projects like shrimp on treadmills, robotic squirrel snake bate, and ketchup viscosity comparisons, we can't expect any real fiscal responsibility from Washington DC.  Of course, programs like these have been instituted and overlooked by leaders from both parties for generations.  Only one leader has the authority to go after them now.  But he won't.  Government pork programs employ government workers; union workers.  Union workers are entitlement voters and entitlements are a class warfare stable mate in Obama's political strategy.

In pursuit of reaching a deal, Obama has the Senate but lacks support in the House of Representatives. Republicans need to present a plan; not just respond to Obama's scheme by shaking their heads.  If an alternative plan is proposed, Democrats will have to respond lest they accept responsibility for not reaching a deal before the 31st.  Who am I kidding?  Democrats accepting responsibility for anything is about as likely as Obama releasing his college transcripts.  Nevertheless, I predict John Boehner will fold like a paper doll.  He's demonstrated that he has about as much he has about as much backbone as a bowl of Jello.

I believe the only way America will see any substantially effective cuts is if we let Obama enjoy his victory spoils and allow the U.S. to careen off the fiscal cliff like Thelma and Louise's 1966 Ford Thunderbird.  Will it hurt?  Absolutely.  Will it make a difference?  I believe so.  Politicians from both parties will point fingers at each other but in the end, Americans will remember who was in office when the country took an even steeper nosedive.  Whether they remember by the midterm elections or the 2016 Presidential election is yet to be seen.  I'd like to think that we as a country are bright enough to learn our lesson faster, but then we did reelect Obama in the first place.  Maybe I'm the naive one.