Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fiscal cliff? What fiscal cliff?

If I remember my Constitution correctly, all bills dealing with taxing and spending must originate in the House.   So, it would appear to me that John Boehner has a little work to do - a little work that he seems incapable of doing.

Now first a word on this over-hyped so-called fiscal cliff that we're supposed to be plunging over on New Year's Day. It's all an illusion. There is no such thing. The illusion was created so that no one would question the need to implement austerity measures during a fragile economic recovery. Just go ask the Greeks or the Spanish how well those austerity measures are working in their countries.

So what if there's no deal in place by Tuesday. Wouldn't it make more sense for the incoming Congress to debate the issue rather than the lame ducks still in session? The tax cuts can be extended, or re-introduced, at any time. The broad spending cuts won't take effect until the next fiscal year.

President Obama is once again showing his appalling lack of poker skills in groveling with Congressional leaders to come up with a grand bargain. Mr. Obama doesn't have to do anything. Mr. Boehner couldn't even command enough of his own party members to stage a vote for his bill that would coddle the wealthy and defense contractors while fleecing seniors and the unemployed. Apparently members of his own party didn't think his proposal did enough coddling or fleecing.

The President's only role in the process is either signing or vetoing the bill that comes across his desk. The President doesn't need to propose anything. The President doesn't need to fold his hand if the leader of the other party barks at him. He can just sit back and wait to see what happens.

So, Mr. Obama, why not just sit back and enjoy the show? Put the onus on Mr. Boehner and his colleagues to pass legislation to avoid this mythical cliff. Let the American people see who the House GOP really represents. Let then pass a bill that doesn't raise tax rates on the wealthiest 2% of Americans but imposes benefit cuts for seniors who rely on their monthly social security check for survival. Let's see how that goes over.

Right now Mr. Boehner is laughing because he's not being forced to exercise any leadership or responsibility. President Obama's latest moronic idea of pressing the Speaker to put the Senate bill up for a vote in the House boggles the mind.

Come on, Mr. President, you were man enough to break up thousands of families by deporting parents of American citizens. You were man enough to authorize the murder of thousands of civilians in the Middle East. You were man enough to brag that you were the one who decided who was to be killed by unmanned drones. But you're not man enough to stand your ground and force John Boehner to do his job?

Mr. Obama, and the rest of the cabal in Washington, were only too happy to shower cash down on the very folks who drove the economy into the ground while ignoring the plight of ordinary Americans who lost their jobs, their homes and their families. Now they're only too happy to do it all over again under the fiction of the fiscal cliff.

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