Musings from the Right
Wow! A grueling, divisive, downright pugilistic election is finally over! Americans from both sides of the political fence can now look back at the respective campaigns with pride or frustration or shock, as is their wont, and realize the billions of dollars spent by candidates, the hatemongering, and a discordant state not seen since the Civil War, have accomplished…absolutely nothing!
America still has the same spendthrift, socialist president, the same divided Congress, and the same ever-growing bureaucracy. We voted for the status quo. We voted for the same bunch of ineffective national leaders who haven’t been able to pass a budget in three years, have heaped a 16 trillion dollar debt upon the backs of our children, and have not been able to agree on much of anything. If you liked the last four years, you will absolutely love the next four, which will doubtless be more of the same…higher federal debt, higher unemployment, higher taxes, and continued demonization of our self reliance, our religion, and the human goodness which Alexis de Tocqueville recognized in 1835 was the backbone of our system of government. Yeah, we did a great job selecting our leadership this time around!
But wait! Our leaders were able to agree on at least one issue that may have some importance in the near future. The so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ is waiting patiently to take effect on January 1. Exactly what is this economic precipice down which we are about to plummet, and where did it come from? Please understand, before I postulate my understanding of this looming disaster, that my formal education in economics came primarily from calculating how much cotton I needed to pick at 3 cents per pound to take Betty Sue Turnipseed to the latest James Bond movie in 1963. That said, here is my understanding of events.
About a year ago, Congress came to the shocking understanding that their profligate spending during the Obama administration had caused the national debt to nearly triple and was, even more astonishing to them, having a deleterious effect on the national economy. “It’s a crisis!” they wailed. “We have to fix it or the world will end!” They were right, of course, but as always their solution to the problem was questionable at best.
They authorized a bipartisan “super-committee” to find a way to cut the deficit by 1.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years. As an incentive, Congress set up a mandatory set of tax increases and budget cuts that would automatically take effect on January 1, if the super-committee failed to reach any kind of agreement and, in other words, didn’t do their job. 1.2 trillion spread out over ten years is really a paltry sum, but as expected, the super-committee failed and thus set in motion the upcoming mandatory budget changes.
As if it were not already a complicated conundrum guaranteed to cure the insomnia of millions of voters, we are now at a point where understanding of the situation completely fails us. We all know (I am sticking my tongue firmly into my cheek as I say this) that our elected leaders would never do anything detrimental to their constituents. Those same leaders set up a system of mandatory budget changes as a scapegoat allowing them to do what they do so well…nothing. Surely they would never have established budgetary changes that would cause harm to the American people! Apparently that is exactly what they did, for now they are wailing and moaning once more, “Crisis! Danger! The fiscal cliff is coming!” That’s the same fiscal cliff they established only a year ago. Taking all of the above into consideration, is it possible that our elected officials, from the President on down, don’t have our best interests at heart after all?
Should we blame Obama, or the tax and spend Democrats, or the unyielding, uncompromising Republicans for this crisis situation? What about all the other crises… high unemployment, dependence on foreign energy, our economy in the tank, our foreign diplomats killed under very questionable circumstances? Who do we blame for all of that? Before November 6, I would lay the blame at the feet of all of our elected leaders. After November 6, however, we need to blame only ourselves. We re-elected the same worthless bunch to do exactly the same things to the American people for four more years. How sad.