What can be dumber than a victory that cost more to win than what is won? It’s called a Pyrrhic victory and it’s exactly what our government achieved in its quest to avoid the fiscal cliff.
Yes, the agreement did make it possible for the President to keep his election promise of the wealthy assuming more of the tax burden. The fact is almost eighty percent of the wealthiest already believed they should shoulder more of the tax burden. Why then did the Tea-Party Republicans not allow the President and the Speaker of the House to come to terms?
It is interesting to note that for the congress to move forward on the bill both the President and the House Speaker had to remove themselves.
Into the breach stepped the Vice-President and Senator Mitch McConnell, who in the end brought forth the ridiculous bill known as the American Taxpayer Relief Bill of 2012. It is a bill that extends tax relief for the middle class, unemployment payments for the unemployed, and billions in “pork.”
Yes, ninety percent of the bill is nothing more than “pork,” which is money for congressmen’s home districts. How does this help reduce the deficit?
Basically, Congress kicked the proverbial can down the road. Next month the fighting and arguing will commence once more about how to reduce spending and the voters will be subjected to nightly newscasts foretelling economic calamity if we don’t.
This Curmudgeon’s view today is we spent six billion dollars on an election that voted in exactly the same players that for the last fourteen months could not put the welfare of the country ahead of politics. Voters, it’s hard to feel sorry for you. You got what you voted for, live with it.
This month, January, we, as a nation, celebrate two notable events: 1) The Emancipation Proclamation; and, 2) the birth of Martin Luther King. The contribution of these two events to the fabric of our country, and by extension to the world, is inestimable.
Also, this month we inaugurate our first president of color for a second time. He is the president that received the highest percentage of the popular vote in his re-election bid since President Eisenhower.
Obama is a president that has time, and time again, attempted to bring change to the country by inviting consensus and compromise from both sides of the political aisle. Yet, in the end, for the good of the country, he magnanimously stepped aside and let his vice-president find a settlement to the fiscal cliff. Why, in this day and age of enlightenment, did he have to do this? Shame on the radical right. Shame on the Tea Party.
What of Speaker Boehner and the new House members? Why vote him back in? He won re-election as Speaker of the House by three votes. He’s proved in the last session of Congress he couldn’t control his members. When he tried to float his “Plan B,” he had to cancel the vote because his radical right wouldn’t support him.
But has the radical right finally been weakened in the new congress? Hopefully.
Time will tell us if the radical right has been diminished. Perhaps Gordon Norquist and his contract have lost some of its luster and the country can finally start moving ahead in solving its budget issues. The facts are we need to find a way to reduce our spending, yet, maintain our promises to social security and Medicare. We need to maintain an adequate military force to combat our foes. We need to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. We need to secure our homeland. We can and we must.
We are the United States of American, “. . . a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”