[A short break from the series of post I started this week asking conservatives to consider some probing question about who inside or outside of government are shaping and moving domestic and foreign policy and what the objective is, because the objectives are not clear. I do plan to do one or two more posts in that vein to see if my readers show enough interest to continue along that line of thinking. If not, I will return to my more conventional post subjects.]
Other than the congressional investigations over the scandalous behavior of this administration’s handling of the Benghazi tragedy, this Lame Duck Congress has one priority and that is to deal with fiscal cliff issues.
In my life time, I don’t recall a time when the partisanship between the two parties that make up our legislative bodies was an extreme as it is now. In theory, it should be possible for men of good will to have honest differences in opinions of what is best for America and be able to reach compromises that did not lead to radical changes in the direction of domestic of foreign policy. It seems to me that in the fifties and sixties we did have a few true statesmen in both parties. In times of crisis those statesmen used their leadership to put partisanship aside a do what was right for all Americans. Has anybody seen a “statesman” in either house of congress in the last few decades? No, right? And so, this bitterly divided Congress, after a bitter and dividing election, must resolve some very serious issues in this Lame Duck session of Congress.
The consensus opinion is that the lame Duck Congress will avoid the fiscal cliff. In other words, they will kick the can down the road, which seems to be the only thing our elected officials are good at doing. Now, I don”t believe there is any confusion, at least among conservatives, but just to be sure we are all perfectly clear on this, the fiscal cliff and the debt/monetary crisis that looms over us are two entirely different things. The fiscal cliff may be avoided but the debt time bomb will still be ticking away.
Quickly, let’s review what the fiscal cliff is all about. It’s about a number of tax increases that by law are due to kick in on January 1, 2013. And, it’s about automatic spending cuts our geniuses came up with as a result of delegating the future of America to a “Super Committee”, in which, if they couldn’t come to an agreement about what to do, automatically certain taxes and spending cuts would kick in. Pure genius! Part of the spending cuts included a sequester that would cut military spending by an addition $500 billion.
Here are my guesses as to what will happen in this Lame Duck session of Congress. The payroll tax holiday will likely end. It is insane to continue to cut the flow of money to a Social Security program that is already bankrupt. The ObamaCare taxes are not up for negotiation. ObamaCare is now the law of the land, as the Democrats like to remind us. Elections do have consequences and Chief Justice Roberts told us that it is not the Court’s job to protect Americans from the consequences of their votes. So, ObamaCare taxes will begin to affect Americans in their pocket books. In the last days before the election, President Obama informed us that the Sequester was not going to happen and everybody knew that. Well, everybody didn’t know that because the President signed that bill into law and he never communicated to anybody that he would be willing to stop the sequester until that exact moment in time. So, it looks like the sequester will not happen. That’s good! I predict that most of the so-called Bush tax cuts that have been in place for about 12 years now will stay in place,
But, what about President Obama’s campaign promise to make the rich pay their fair share? My friends, you can bet the last dollar you have that the rich are going to be paying more in taxes. Obama loves to remind the Republicans that elections do have consequences and that he won. He is right! One of those consequences will be to increase taxes on those nasty rich job creators. This humble observer is praying, and I belive my prayer will be granted, that the Republicans will hold firm on the Buffet Tax the President likes so much. The Buffet Tax would be devastating to our fragile economy. My good friend, John Galt, at the America’s Chronicle blog has put of a couple of posts recently, in which his opinion is that the Republicans are likely to concede a increase in the capital gains tax. John goes on to talk about the negative impact that such a tax increase will have on investors and the stock market. We already know how nervous the stock market is. The Dow has lost about a thousand points since the election. I think John is probably right. I would only add that pension funds and the investments held by many retirees, who are not rich, will feel the pain as well. ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE UNION MEMBERS! Probably not.
Tomorrow I may revisit why in theory our deficit and debt crisis could have been avoided at minimum pain. It’s only in theory that this could have happened. In reality we know we have no men and women of courage in our Congress. So, instead, a reelected Barack Obama and his partners in crime, the Democrats, will continue their wild spending spree, oblivious to the debt time bomb and they will continue pushing through policies here at home that will only hasten the day when the debt time bomb explodes. At the same time they will continue a Middle East policy that is totally unexplainable; totally illogical, that has the risk of ending in a war we can not afford, and would also hasten the triggering of the debt time bomb. We must keep asking the question, why? Why is our government following irrational policies at home and abroad. What is their objective that we can not see? What is it that they don’t want us to know until it is too late for to have any chance in stopping them. We must keep seeking answers to these question, my friends. After this past election, all we conservatives have is each other. God bless you! And as Wild Bill for America always ends his talks: “May God bless America … again!”.
Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?