Ok, I’ll admit it. I increasingly support going over the fiscal cliff. On purpose.
Insanity? Maybe. But I think not. Two things happen on the magic date- across the board spending cuts- to both the democratic untouchable social welfare programs, and to the gop’s untouchable military budget. And, the Bush era tax cuts expire- for everybody.
So be it. Obama and the democrats will surely move to immediately replace tax cuts for all but the wealthiest americans. Which will put republicans in a tough spot- while they will surely try to insist on tax breaks for the rich- they simply do not have the votes. Not without sinking tax cuts for the rest of america. It’s a battle they simply can not win, and in trying they will be loosing a lot of support from their base.
Now on the cuts side- I say the left looses. Despite screams from the right about military funding- the mandated cuts will only return it to historic levels. Military spending is out of control, continuing to rise despite the ending of the 2 wars that have raged for a decade. But the across the board cuts to government programs will hurt more. Not because cuts don’t need to happen but because they happen without proper input. Programs such as medicare and social security, operate on trust funds rather then spending per se. And yes- they have had to be supported by government spending/borrowing recently- but this is more a failure of congress refusing to do the hard work of fixing the trust funds then a failure of the programs themselves.
And the rights claims of massive increases in “welfare spending” ignore the reality of the damage their policies did to the economy. And hence the huge increase in Americans who have needed aid over the past few years. (I would go so far as to argue this played a not insubstantial role in the defeat of Romney/Ryan, as a substantial portion of the republican base, including many who ong ballyhooed such government programs, have come to be thankful for their existence. )
So, despite the dire predictions of many on the impacts of what going over the fiscal cliff may mean- I say, let it happen. It may actually force our congress critters to get back to work. Work they have shirked for several years now- instead seemingly thinking we elected them to posture and play politics. So let’s go over the cliff. And then pay very, very close attention to every move these critters make.
And maybe, just maybe in the coming elections we can trim the deadwood. The partisan hacks. Those that put power over people. Those that say one thing while doing another…out of office.