I believe that our nation is in a serious fiscal position and the elected leaders are not solving the crisis. The media has been almost constantly harping on the “fiscal crisis” since Barack Obama was re-elected. I think it very strange that we heard nothing about the economy during the presidential campaign but we hear nothing but the fiscal crisis now that the election is over? The situation is so “dire” that Obama had to cut his Hawaiian vacation short and call Congress back into session. I do not feel one bit sorry for them because they have had months and even years to solve the problem but kept “kicking the can down the road.”
The Blaze reported on “a last-minute meeting held on Friday to avert the quickly-approaching `fiscal cliff,’ a combination of tax increases and deep spending cuts to take effect next year unless Congress comes up with a budget plan.” When the meeting ended, everyone left in silence. There were “no comments” from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “Based on the fact that both Sen. Reid and Rep. Boehner declined to comment on the details of the meeting, it’s probably safe to assume that neither side is any closer to getting what it wants.” “Indeed, it would appear that the only thing accomplished by today’s meeting is that Senate leadership was told to get its act together by House leaders.” Boehner aide’s was reported to say, “The group agreed that the next step should be the Senate taking bipartisan action.” The aide said that Speaker Boehner “insisted” that the Senate “must act on the previous House bill and either pass it or amend it.”
President Obama did of course have something to say; he usually does and his comments are usually negative. Shortly after the meeting broke up, Obama held a press conference to say that he is “mildly optimistic” that our leaders can reach a deal but that “nobody’s going to get 100 percent of what they want.”
Obama then launched into his negative mode in voicing his displeasure with Congress: “Ordinary folks, they do their jobs. They meet deadlines. They sit down and discuss things and then things happen. If there are disagreements they sort through the disagreements. The notion that our elected leadership can’t do the same thing is mind-boggling to them. It needs to stop.”
This Congress could very easily go down in the history books as the least unproductive Congress in the history of our nation. In spite of their unproductiveness and the fact that our nation is in a fiscal crisis, our Dear Leader issued an executive order to end the pay freeze on federal employees. In other words, he just gave some federal workers a raise, including Vice President Joe Biden, members of both the House and the Senate, and judges at all levels! The new wages will be effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning after March 27, 2013.
The simple fact that Obama is increasing the pay of federal workers during a fiscal crisis seems to prove the point that the “fiscal cliff” is a diversion. Scott Powell is one person who believes that the “fiscal cliff” is a diversion from the real problems of our government: “The fiscal cliff is less a crisis than a creation that diverts the attention of policymakers, the media and the public away from the big picture abyss that threatens the United States and shifts focus to the smaller and more immediate tax and spending debate associated with the year-end expiration of the Bush tax cuts.
“The central problem facing the U.S. that few understand is the growing systemic risk from the unsustainable trajectory of deficit spending and debt accumulation and the $225 trillion derivatives exposure largely held by a handful of U.S. banks that are too big to fail….
“But what is striking about the current debate is how relatively small the numbers are compared to those associated with the greater problems of systemic risk that could precipitate a financial collapse….
“What is needed now is leadership and conviction to do the right thing for all Americans. We will get through the fiscal cliff one way or another, but then the real work needs to commence. Outside Washington, there is a palpable sense that the U.S. economy is rigged and in a precarious state. The Republican majority in the House of Representatives can start to reclaim the moral high ground by exercising the courage and commitment to educate the public about the nation’s fiscal reality and explain the corrective options available to steer clear of the abyss of financial collapse.”
Jim O’Sullivan is another person who believes the talk about the “fiscal cliff” is just a diversion: “The US economy is already over the fiscal cliff and falling at an increasing rate. Today’s economic questions should be focused on its rate of descent; will the rate increase or can it be arrested before the rocks below are reached. After the election the economy has continued to implode, yet its downward plunge has been largely ignored by the mainstream media (MSM). Apparently the MSM’s economic orthodoxy is now only entered on fiscal cliff narratives. The MSM’s focus on the cliff gives Obama, their hero, economic cover since the cliff story is the economic story and not the terrible economic results occurring weekly and monthly.
“Currently it is difficult to find economic data related to the past two months (or past three years) which is positive; whether it is meaningful growth in employment, an increase in the labor participation rate, a consistent uptick in GDP, a reduction in the workforce dropout rate, a reduction in government spending or a reduction in the deficit et. al.
”Many fiscal cliff narratives have incessantly talked about tax increases/decreases, spending, debt, deficits and the intransigence of the President or the Republicans (mainly Republicans) to compromise. With compromise a deal to move the country forward on important economic issues can be attained. Certainly future economic performance will be significantly affected by many of the outcomes related to the cliff negotiations. Yet the narratives seldom mention the Obama administration’s past or current record on economic issues … a dismal report card that demonstrates no sustainable success on any level over the past four years.”
After listing some examples of “statistical evidence that the Obama economy is already in a free-fall,” O’Sullivan wrote: “Yet maybe the most telling informational deficiency is the shortage of reporting on the economic stimulative effects of previous income tax and capital gain tax reductions. Reductions that then resulted in growing tax revenues and appreciable increases in prosperity for the American people. In fact MSM stories have tried to debunk the realities of the Coolidge, JFK, Reagan, Clinton and Bush 43 tax reductions that kick started past sagging economies. The media’s reluctance to discuss tax cutting or the subsequent economic surges that followed their execution has largely removed these strategies from public debate.”
O’Sullivan discussed the results of above referenced tax reductions and then concluded: “Given the above realities, a fair hearing on an alternative approach for an economic resurgence using marginal tax rate reductions deserves discussion. But sadly the MSM will continue to emphasize only statistics that highlight the positives of the torpid Obama economy (as will Obama) and continue to anesthetize the public to the magnitude of this administration’s failed economic policies rather than report on or discuss a time tested tax strategy. The truth is that the economy is already over the fiscal cliff. Obama’s incompetence did the pushing and his fiscal cliff strategy will accelerate the economy to destruction on the fast approaching rocks below.”
David Limbaugh believes that the financial health of our nation could have been solved long ago IF Barack Obama and the Republicans were working for the same thing. “The reason President Obama and Republicans can’t come to an agreement on the fiscal cliff negotiations is that they don’t share the same goals. This is also the key to understanding why President Obama appears far less worried about going over the cliff.
“Republicans are focused on restoring the nation’s financial health by promoting economic growth and reducing our horrendous deficits and debt. President Obama’s primary aim is to complete his project of fundamentally transforming America….
“The budget debates essentially boil down to the Republican’s desire to return the nation to financial health vs. Obama’s desire to use the government’s taxing and spending powers as tools to remake America in his image rather than to facilitate economic growth or balance the budget.”
Our nation went over the “fiscal cliff” at midnight on New Year’s Eve, but the U.S. Senate passed a bill http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/jan/1/deficit-fiscal-cliff-bill-actually-spends-330-bill/ about 2:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day with only eight votes against it. This deal was designed to save money, but it includes $330.3 billion in new spending over the next decade. It also includes $25.1 billion in new cuts with only $2 billion cut in 2013. The bottom line of the new bill is that it makes our deficit worse by $4 trillion over the next decade. The bill went to the U.S. House of Representatives where the members were actually given time to read the bill before any votes were scheduled. The House passed the bill yesterday with more than half of the Republicans voting no.
The simple fact is that our nation does not have an income problem; it has a spending problem. We must stop the spending! I believe that we are so far down the slippery slope that we may not be capable of recovering from the destruction brought about by our incompetent leaders. Our nation could recover from the damage if we had a nation of people who took personal responsibility for themselves and their families and then were willing to make the necessary sacrifices for the nation. We have too many people who believe that the government should take care of them from cradle to grave and too many people with their hands out for Obama phones, food stamps, unemployment, etc. We have too many people who are willing to believe the lies that Obama tells them even while he is leading them to destruction. I believe that we are going to suffer some very difficult times before we see good times again. We better wear our seatbelts because we are in for a rough ride!