January 3, 2013
Happy New Year, everybody! And if you had any hopes that things might actually get delightfully boring for a change...well, there's always next year. Already we've been treated to the High Drama of the fiscal cliff deal -- freshy passed by both houses of Congress in the dead of night the way that Brother Bluto might cram for a chemistry final -- but look on the bright side: At least we won't have to endure another election cycle until 2014. Time enough to restock the liquor cabinet in any case.
I know there's been a lot of grousing over the the deal (It only cuts $1 of spending for $41 in tax hikes!) and a fair amount of counter-grousing (The middle-class Bush tax rates are now permanent, hallelujah!), but in the end it's probably the best the Republicans could have hoped for given their largely self-inflicted weakness of position and having Barack Obama on the other side of the bargaining table. God only knows what really went on during those closed-door sessions, but with the president constantly moving the goalposts around I imagine that John Boehner must've felt a bit like Lando Calrissian negotiating with Darth Vader.
Boehner: "1.6 trillion? That wasn't part of the deal!"
Obama: "I am altering the deal. Pray I don't alter it any further!"
And for all that trouble, we get to have another go-round in February when the debt ceiling comes knocking again. Nothing like long term vision in Washington politics, is there?
Ah, well. This is what the people voted for, right? Still, I have to wonder how long it's going to take for everyone to get tired of the All-Crisis-All-The-Time schtick that seems to be the administration's modus operandi and want to go back to some level of normalcy. Simply put, people can't deal with this kind of heightened uncertainly for very long before keeling over. On that score, the economy is already way ahead of the populace, having long since curled up into a self-defensive ball while Barack continues to slap it around backhand style. One can only hope that the people will soon tire of the same abuse: Voters, if you don't get help from the GOP, please get help somewhere.
As for me, I get to keep my tax rate -- at least for now. But everybody is gonna feel a little pinch when they get that first paycheck of 2013 and see that their payroll taxes have gone up (all holidays have to come to an end, alas). Consider it a foretaste of things to come -- because, one way or the other, if Washington wants to continue to spend like it has been, they're gonna come after the middle class. That is, after all, where the real money is. The extra $60 billion or so that they're squeezing out of "the rich" with these tax hikes won't even begin to feed the beast.
Bon appetit, everyone!
Hatched by Korso on this day, January 3, 2013, at the time of 4:33 PM
The following hissed in response by: Eris Guy
people can't deal with this kind of heightened uncertainly for very long before keeling over
While true, the Cultural Revolution, which was far more demanding than Obamunism's crises, lasted for a decade. That is well into Obama's third term.
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
You are correct. We can tax our way out of this problem, it's just a little simple math. Add up the debt and unfunded liabilities, divide by the GDP, and you discover that we can cover it all if we simply raise the federal tax rate to 100% for everybody, with no exceptions, deductions or exclusions, for eight years. Of course there's that niggling little problem of what we would all live on, or where funding for the government's normal expenditures would come from. Maybe be better make that tax rate 125%.
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