One of the main things we’ve seen in terms of political news over the past couple weeks is the debate about this “fiscal cliff” that we are headed toward in a train that can’t seem to want to stop in time regardless of what is done by the politicians.
The problem with the fiscal cliff is that it was born from government expansion and partisan policymaking. The original issue was the fact that our federal government went on a taxation and spending spree (the spending started with Bush actually, and for some reason he thought that you could fund a war without raising taxes, a very novel concept for a libertarian like myself and a very forward-thinking move on his part for ignoring precedent, but nonetheless extremely stupid) and decided that the best way to keep our country afloat was to borrow money from China when our taxation wasn’t meeting the needs that we had to fuel the war on terror and the different things that we were doing within the country that we didn’t have the money for such as funding social programs and things of that nature. Now that we have gotten ourselves into this mess, the present problem is not the spending, even thought that still needs to be fixed. The problem now is that the men and women that we have elected to go and represent us in Washington refuse to work with each other and try to come to some sort of agreement about what should be done to avoid this financial crisis that they have created for us through their big government policies.
The Republicans think that taxes should be cut in order to encourage spending within our borders to stimulate the economy, and the Democrats think that taxes should be raised so that the extra tax revenue can be put toward lowering the debt and funding the programs that we have never had the money to fund. Boehner, speaker of the House of Representatives and the current leader of the Republican Party, has tried to reason with Obama by agreeing to raise taxes to show the President that the Republican party was willing to compromise, but his party threw him under the bus. The fact that the Republican party cannot align itself behind their leader is a good sign that they are in for some really tough times.
The partisan attitude that’s been festering within Washington for some time now has also brought about factions within the parties. These factions disagree on the economy in almost every way. The radicals usually don’t want to compromise, and the moderates usually want to try and do something to reach a middle ground. The problem is, those moderates are few and far in between, and they are not powerful within their own party. The ones who want to think this problem through and try to reach an agreement that would save the country from imminent crisis are the ones who are being marginalized within their party and thrown under the bus for being defectors and traitors.
If this continues, then we will fly right off the fiscal cliff and there is nothing that we can do to stop it. The end of the country is upon us, and all we have to do now is sit an wait to see what happens when everything goes down. In my very cynical view, the lawmakers in Congress will never reach some sort of an agreement before the deadline, regardless of what happens. They will stick to their guns, waiting for the other side to break, because they don’t want to be the one who tried to go over to the other side or talk to the other party and risk losing re-election in two years.
The whole thing has become a huge chess game where the politicians play the game while the general public just sits here and watches in anger and agony as the country falls apart before our very eyes. The fiscal cliff, when we go off, can be blamed completely on the politicians who perpetuated the policies that sent us here in the first place, and now won’t work together and be responsible to fix the problem.