Leaving for a time our historical diversion . . .
The immediate challenge facing President Obama after his reelection is how to reach an agreement with Republicans on a budget that avoids going over “the fiscal cliff.” The cliff refers to the massive cuts in spending that will occur after the terms of the Budget Control Act of 2011 expire. If the President and the Congress cannot reach a new budget agreement by January 2, 2013, spending cuts of $1.2 trillion over the next ten automatically go into effect. None of these cuts involve the largest long term expenditure: entitlements. On the other side of the ledger, income taxes and capital gains taxes go up.
Almost everyone agrees that the “sequester cuts” will cripple our already limping economy.
And almost everyone agrees that the Republicans will bear the brunt of the blame.
The President won reelection on his so-called “balanced” plan on the budget, especially that part about “taxing the rich.” So far he has not shown much balance. With the support of his fluffers at MSNBC, He can stiffen his resistance to spending cuts and force the Republicans to accept the tax hikes he wants.
So what can Republicans do? Not much. They say that holding out on the tax increases is their only leverage. So far, however, they have failed to leverage anything out of the President. Their obstructionism will likely cost them Congressional seats in 2014.
Maybe the best bet is to vote “present” and let the President have his way. The Bush tax cuts are hardly sacred. They linger as part of the residue left by Bush's undisciplined and fiscally irresponsible administration. Once the President has his tax increases, begin the demands for spending cuts. If don't come (and they won't), then call the President out as a “G-d d----d liar.” Then force the cuts by refusing to pass any budget that does not include them.
Over the fiscal cliff