Are We Taking This Cliff Seriously?

Are We Taking This Cliff Seriously?

Seems like we have been talking about the pending fiscal cliff now for months? Our lazy inept Congress seems to be playing games with the welfare of the American people. I don’t give a damn if you are a Republican, a Democrat or a member of an Independent party, a Tea Party, a Coffee Party, whatever. Somebody including the President of the United States has to take this situation seriously. But what scares the hell out of me now is that no one in Washington seems to have a plan or the semblance of a plan.

We all know what happens when a drain fills with leaves – it floods as the water has no place to go. The Congressional drain is filled with cans that have been kicked down the road so many times that they are dented and flat. The water is backing up in the form of a debt ceiling that will be reached Monday; expiring Bush tax cuts, unemployment limits that are expiring; Barack’s 2% Social Security smoke and mirrors tax “holiday”; the reinstatement of the infamous Marriage Penalty; the return of the Alternate Minimum Tax that was never adjusted for inflation; billions of dollars in sequestration cuts that were mandated back in August of 2011, etc. I could go on and on. Add to this the fact that there is no more money to be borrowed and we are in trouble. God help us if rates go up as our $16 trillion dollar debt could cost us some serious money even if rates went up to even 3 or 4%. Analysts have predicted that it could soar from the current $359 billion dollars in interest to close to one trillion dollars in interest. And yes, folks, this is not being passed on to our grandchildren! It is debt that we have to pay to keep re-selling our debt over and over again as we do not have the money to pay it off.

Maybe, some of our clueless Congressional representatives, actually believed that the world was set to end on December 21st?  I have always believed that if you want to kill some bill or initiative, send it to a committee.  They will argue and debate it forever. No one gave any thought as to how Congress was going to pay for the Bush tax cuts back in 2001 and here we are in 2012, days away from 2013, and we still have no clue as to how these tax cuts are ever going to be paid for or if we can actually afford them. We are spending days of valuable time debating reductions in Government revenue. No one wants to see taxes go up but our incoming revenue is one trillion dollars out of balance with our spending each and every year! If the United States Government was a private firm in our economy, we would be facing Chapter 9 liquidation. Folks, taxes have to go up somewhere and spending has to be cut by billions now! The big debate in Washington is just to what extent will we extend these tax cuts based upon the taxpayer’s level of income. I can’t think of a more ridiculous approach to solving a serious spending problem than by debating a reduction in Government revenue.

My honest opinion is that the tasks facing the President and Congress are just too big for them to address and the window of opportunity has almost closed. We have a 96,000 page tax code with a staff of 100,000 IRS employees – so much for any tax reform; we have a defense budget that is close to a trillion dollars alone and, guess what, we are really not sure just how many military bases we have in operation around the world; we have entitlement programs that we can’t really afford and that should be totally restructured or they will not survive; and we have not had a balanced budget in four years. We operate on what is called “funding appropriations” that when added up exceed our incoming revenue by a trillion dollars. I think what we need is a United States Chaplain who will pray for us in the coming weeks or until the United States finally goes over the fiscal cliff and bankruptcy becomes a real option.

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Written by
Donald Wittmer