fiscal cliff

Dunkirk redux

From one of our ace contributors:

Unmitigated Defeat

By Publius

On New Year’s Day, the House of Representatives voted for a fiscal package that included a ratio of about forty times as much in tax increases as in spending cuts.  The United States government will continue to spend far more than it takes in with about forty percent of every dollar it spends borrowed money.  The impact of the withdrawal of hundreds of billions in new taxes from the private sector, with only token spending cuts, will likely send our economy into a tailspin. The fiscal cliff, as awful as it would have been, would have been more responsible than the fiscal package just enacted.  At least, going over the cliff would have cut spending along with raising revenue.
Throughout the process, Republicans bent and kept trying to reach accommodation with the President and the Senate.  Moving toward the center, Republicans offered alternative plans for consideration, while the President actually added to his demands.  His negotiation pattern resembled that of last century’s totalitarian regimes, ratcheting up demands instead of moving toward the center and insisting on revenues without meaningful cuts.  Yet the mainstream media blamed Republicans for the lack of progress.  Seldom has an indictment been so off base.
Spending far beyond our means is the problem, not revenue.  Who will bail us out from the price of our own folly?  Who will save us when our politicians lack the moral fiber to stand up and say “no more,” even should it mean they will go home in two years?  Why are there no profiles in courage?
We are like a family out of fiscal control, making sixty thousand dollars a year but insisting on living a one hundred thousand dollar a year lifestyle.  The issue is not whether we are running through our children’s inheritances, but will we have anything left to live on in dignity and self sufficiency.
The Republican Party and our nation have suffered an “unmitigated defeat,” made all the more galling because it would not have been possible without Republican votes in the House of Representatives.  
For those who say the Republican Party was made irrelevant by the election of 2012, they should remember Republicans control two thirds of the state governorships and the House of Representatives and lost the presidency by only a small number of votes in a few key states.  Yet, the Republican Party’s leadership has lost its voice. The leadership of the Republican Party is driving more and more of its members into the Tea Party; these leaders are the architects of the party’s demise.
To be relevant, a political party must offer the nation a choice of policies.  Republicans cannot and must not become Democrat “me toos.”  Why is it that when we Republicans elect people to office, they abandon the fundamental fiscal principles of our party?  What is it about the water in Washington, DC or in Albany that makes our office holders forget fiscal responsibility?  Republicans can matter, but only if they have guiding principles and if they stick to them.  Fiscal discipline needs to be the top priority.
Part of the latest deal kicks the spending problem down the road a few months.  Putting off what should not be avoided is irresponsible at best, criminal at worst.  Until war preparations bailed him out, Franklin Roosevelt presided over a great depression for the better part of eight years while continuing to blame his predecessor.  We are repeating that pattern.  Does anyone really think enhancing government revenue and the public sector at the cost of the private sector where the real work is performed will improve our economy?  If so, they are among those who are not learning from history and, thus are doomed to repeat it.
Rome failed to meet the fiscal and moral challenges of its day.  Make no mistake about it, we are witnessing the decline and fall of the United States.  We have indeed been tried in the balance and found wanting.  The future we’re heading for does not work.   Unless we change these shadows of things yet to come, we are forging a very long chain to bear for us, our children and grandchildren.

Cliff diving

Remember this (click on the image to watch)?

A great guest column at the Lonely Conservative:

Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven

Everybody wants an “A” but nobody wants to study.  Everybody wants to be rich but nobody wants to save.  Everybody wants to lose weight but nobody wants to exercise.  Everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die.  No matter how you say it, the desire for something without the willingness to do the hard things required to achieve it, will always lead to disappointment.  This is the cadence of the conundrum, the drumbeat of the do-nothing dreamer, the national anthem of the nihilist; the perennial I want but I will not work formula for failure.
The signature phrase for the conservatives of this generation of Americans should be, “We all want a sound economy but we aren’t willing to endure the life-style changes it would take to get there.”
Case in point: the coming Fiscal Cliff, the looming disaster of sequestration that every talking head on every network blathers about endlessly, “It will happen” “It won’t happen.”  Pick a side and it will be argued back and forth hour after hour, “The President won’t let it happen, “The President wants it to happen.” Over and over we are barraged by the same few people who constitute the pundocracy ofAmerica debate what will happen.  There is only one thing they are all agreed upon.  If we go over this cliff, created by a vote of Congress and a signature by the President it will be terrible for our country.  Why stop there? It will be terrible for the entire world... another old saying tells us nobody wants their own ox gored.  It is the “Not in my backyard syndrome” applied by everyone to something.  We all want cuts in spending but not in our spending...

Read the whole blessed thing.

Preacher told me last Sunday mornin’
Son, you better start livin’ right
You need to quit the women and whiskey
And carrying on all night

Don’t you wanna hear him call your name
When you’re standin’ at the pearly gates?
I told the preacher, “Yes I do
But I hope they don’t call today
I ain’t ready"
Everybody wants to go to heaven
Have a mansion high above the clouds
Everybody want to go to heaven
But nobody want to go now...


Thelma and Louise discuss the fiscal cliff

No,'s Dora and Peregrina in an earnest tête-à-tête whilst simultaneously having coffee and their hair done (bet you didn't know you could do that at the Queen Diner—don't let the health department in on it.).  

Are you frustrated by the all the fiscal cliff talk?  So's Dora.  As always, the old gal makes a lot of sense.

Going Over the Cliff
“Are you happy with the direction the Republican Party is taking on the fiscal cliff?” my friend Peregrina asked me as we had coffee at the Queen Diner in Dryden. I had to admit I am not.
We agreed that a status quo election in which the popular vote split almost in the middle and which gave continued control of the House to the Republicans by a large margin was no mandate for the President’s radical income redistribution or grow government schemes.  Contrary to media claims, the Republican Party is not dead or even moribund.  About two-thirds of the states have Republican governors.  Even residents of the City of Ithaca have a Republican representative-elect now.  Yet, the Republican Party is suffering from a kind of sickness in which many Republicans neither speak out proudly for our basic principles nor vote on election day.
Now I’ve been a registered Republican since I turned 21, 67 years ago, and was eligible to vote (yes, they made you wait until 21 back then).  The main thing I like about the Party is its fiscal conservatism though that has been much lacking among some Republicans of late.
Ronald Reagan, bless his soul, said that he had not left the Democrat Party, it had left him.  I’m now beginning to feel the same way about the Grand Old Party (GOP).  In Washington, numerous “Republican” office holders have been talking compromise on basic fiscal principles.  Compromise works when the other side is genuinely interested in reaching a viable solution, but you can’t negotiate with people like the President who think it must be their way “or the highway.” Merely kicking the problem down the road or supplying our ever growing government with more funds just won’t work nor can we keep borrowing forty cents of every dollar we spend.
You can’t solve an overspending habit by borrowing, you have to do it by tightening your belt, Peregrina agreed.  Imagine a family, she suggested, that makes $60,000 a year but spends $100,000 every year.  How?  By borrowing money from banks, maxing out credit cards, and using friends and relatives year after year.  Sooner or later, the house foreclosed, bankruptcy filed, overspending must stop.
So, I’ve voted for Republicans only to see that when they get to Washington they get infected with “going along to get along” and to see them abandon the basic Republican principles of smaller government and lower taxes.  Sadly, they no longer feel willing to stand up and speak out for fiscal sanity.  They become “me too” Democrats, always wanting to spend more and to solve all problems with government “solutions.”
There is no such thing as a free lunch.  Common sense says that whatever we spend must be paid for by someone.  The taxing the rich mantra espoused locally by such voices as Barbara Lifton just cannot work.  Why not?  Because the rich just aren’t rich enough.  The tax increases sought by the President from successful people would only bring in about forty billion dollars a year, enough to run the government for little more than a week. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan lowered taxes and found lower taxes actually mean higher government revenues and prosperity for the American people.  Franklin Roosevelt raised taxes during a depression and got a longer depression. Yet the class warfare advocates continue to assault success and make it more difficult though the revenue that can be raised is merely politically symbolic and not meaningful.  They ignore the facts and follow a false dream.
But the problem isn’t revenues, it is spending.  Government is simply too big.  Some Republicans go to Washington to cut its size and end up increasing it.  That won’t do.
So, what must happen?  Statist Republicans and taxing Republicans must be given fiscally conservative and committed primary opponents.  We must confront our Republican office holders and let them know they will have internal party opposition if they persist.  We must get them to adhere to principle.  Or, we Republicans must turn to and work with the more committed Tea Party folks in trying to take back the Republican Party.
UPDATE:  I guess great minds really do think alike  wink
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