Updated: May 20, 2019
The media and the politicians have successfully made the so-called "fiscal crisis" a real life drama. Countdown clocks abound with how many days, hours, minutes and seconds are left before we go over the cliff. The countdown reminds me of the 1962 Cuban missile crisis wherein Walter Cronkite was also counting the minutes until the Russian ships passed a certain line in the Caribbean.
But there is a big difference between the Cuban missile crisis and the fiscal crisis. The Cuban missile crisis was a threat to our very existence by a foreign enemy and a dictator named Nikita Khrushchev. The "fiscal crisis" to the extent that is a crisis at all is self-made. In fact it is more like the apocalypse of 12/21/12. They both are being used to sell television documentaries and business channel programing.
The television says "rise above," the question should be "rise above what?" I guess they mean rise above politics and find a compromise. It seems that they have forgotten that the "fiscal cliff" is the result of a compromise. The deal was, if spending was not brought under control by January 1, 2013 mandatory cuts in government programs would occur, and tax rates would return to their prior higher levels.
Any new compromise today should be based on honoring the compromise that led to this so-called crisis. Spending cuts should occur at the dollar level previously agreed, and tax increases should impact everyone in the amounts previously agreed upon as well. If the tax revenue can be gained less painfully in some manner different than is now mandated by the prior compromise, that could be a reason for legitimate negotiation. If the spending cuts can be made in some manner less painful that is ok too, but any bill that doesn't recognize the prior compromise discredits any new compromise and is just as much a farce as the prior one.
Our President likes to say that words matter, and he's right. They do matter. But when your country is headed for bankruptcy, numbers matter more. Politicians are masters of words, but when it comes to numbers they are simply fools. They fool themselves and Americans with words, but the numbers will ultimately make fools of them.
The bottom line is that 12/21/12 will come and go. January 1, 2013 will too. The thing both dates have in common is that after both our country will still be headed for bankruptcy.
Our politicians have inflicted our country with a deadly disease for which there is only one cure. The medicine must be taken soon, even though it will be very painful. Our politicians would do well to remember a couple of objectives that we need to get back on the to-do list. They are a balanced budget amendment and the slogan "made in America." We abandoned these two goals and each passing day our country grows more ill while our so-called government leaders behave like witch doctors and speak with forked tongues. Congressman Wilson was right when he yelled "You Lie!" at President Obama, but later he yielded to political correctness. What he said to the President, "You Lie," he could have rightfully said to nearly every politician in Washington. They not only lie to you, they also lie to themselves.