Lame Ducks Face-Off Over The Fiscal Cliff

[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?

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17 thoughts on “Lame Ducks Face-Off Over The Fiscal Cliff

  1. My hunch is that Obama wants to take us off the cliff and blame the GOP. To think differently, one would think he is not out to destroy America which I find hard to believe.

    1. Yes, I have seen signs that the President would want to give Republicans a coup-de-grace, or what he thinks it would be one.

  2. They will kick the can down the road, and then they will kick “the rich” in the ass, and the rest of us will Thank God the big government bully didn’t kick us, not realizing that it’s just a matter of time.

  3. Jim, it seems like Congress goes from one Recess to another and that is what they live for. When they get close enough to one, they have to stop what they “were doing” (ya, right) and will pick it up when they come back (that doesn’t happen, either). Nothing ever seems to have enough time to be passed.Plus you put Harry Reid into the mix and you know IF anything productive happened in the House, he will either table it or just flat out ignore it. He will tell you that. What about the budget? Has anyone seen a budget over the past 4 years? Anyone? And, as we have seen, they can’t get out of Washington DC fast enough. They want their salaries, but they don’t want to work for it. Could we do the same at a job? Doubt it. Well, I think that B. hit it solid, Obama wants to take us over that cliff and blame the GOP. Does it really matter any more WHO is to blame when we are being flushed down the drain, I mean really, does it?

  4. Jim, thank you for mentioning our take on the likely consequences of a capital gains tax increase. We have already seen the market drop substantially. We see this point reinforced every day by the narrative that is coming out of the different parties involved. We know for certain that capital gains tax increases are in the bulls eye of the Democrats. They think that the fallacious story of Buffet’s secretary paying more in taxes than Buffet was a winner.

    Although it is probable that the odds are still in favor of an eleventh hour half-baked agreement that mostly kicks the can down the road, I have seen an increased possibility that Obama will want to go over the cliff in order to blame Republicans. He is an emboldened man, and so are his advisors from the left and the unions. They might be willing to act recklessly in disregard of the country – since when they have cared about the country – and risk a recession to be able to blame the Republicans for it and, in their view, “finished them off”.

    1. You are not alone in that opinino, John. I am curioust o hear you opinion of what the Republican response should be to that tactic. But, doesn’t seem like a bit of over kill? The Republican party was seriously wounded on 6 November. It is hard to see that they will be a factor in the next few elections. Also, there is a finite risk that the tactic you suggest Obama is taking could backfire and blow upin his face. Having said that, it does appear that Obama is hell-bent on destroying America. What kind of legacy is that for him to have?

      1. Yes, I agree, the “scorching” tactic to finish the Republicans off by letting us go over the cliff may “backfire”. Two years to the Congressional elections is a long time. A sensible man would know that, the question is whether an emboldened, reckless, fanatic man, with an agenda in mind would.
        Like I said, I still, however, hold higher odds for a good kick of the can (that kick may still include a devastating fudge of capital gains taxes).

        I can perceive some compromising from the Republican side beyond allowing some reining-in of tax deductions; that would be allowing a tax rise on the higher income bracket rate but starting at 500k or 1 million – not at 200K. The real mystery – of which nobody is talking about it in specifics – is what happens to capital gains and dividend taxes. There is where the future of the economy lies, and there is where the Democrats are more ignorant of the consequences. Greenspan and Edward Lazear, from Stanford, both agree with me about the importance of capital gains taxes this morning in an interview at Bloomberg (in spite of the Oriental girl’s efforts to dissuade them in the other direction).

  5. Obama and the rest of the Left have successfully demonized the rich. Most people that I know — no matter where on the political spectrum — favor making the rich pay more.

    Part of this is as Silverfiddle said. People believe that if the rich are taxed more, those who are not rich will escape a tax hike.

  6. Obama doesn’t see the fiscal cliff as it is being discussed in this thread.

    Oh, no!

    Rather, he sees that as equalizing wealth and remaking America according to his vision of what the new world order should be. Like all such people, Obama expects that he’ll sit at the top in his ivory tower and not be touched because such is HIS DUE.

    You see, what I describing is the quandary. How is it that the Left doesn’t see the fiscal cliff for what it is? Because those on the Left believe that they will remain untouched, that they will just go on in the manner to which they are accustomed? Are these people really that well off? Maybe. Think of Napoleon in Animal Farm and those who sat at the top after the Bolshevik Revolution.

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