Fiscal Cliff: 36 Days and Counting
The Sunday political talk circuit was abuzz over President Obama’s 2nd term. There was endless speculation on mythical possibilities. Political historians were called in to explain.
Undervalued went the immediate future – the fiscal cliff. How that is resolved will set the tone for President Obama’s legacy and the long-term fate of the United States.
A cavalier attitude taken of the fiscal cliff threatens this nation’s economic future.
The Bard of Patty Murray
It is entirely possible the short-term destiny of this country rests with someone few people have heard of:
U.S. Senator Patty Murray of Washington State.
An article in The Washington Post explains:
“Patty Murray likely to be a key voice in Senate on budget deal“
– Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post, 11/23/2012
If true then this country is in serious trouble. Sen. Murray is largely responsible for the sequestration part of the fiscal cliff that we stand before today.
Murray is 4th in seniority among U.S. Senate Democrats. She has been assigned by Majority Leader Harry Reid as the top Democratic negotiator on the fiscal cliff talks.
Helderman lavishes high praise on Murray for her low-key style, hard-nosed approach, principled stands, and for engineering gains in Senate seats in the elections earlier this month.
However, quoting Helderman:
Murray has been arguing that missing the deadline for a deal — going over the cliff — could actually make getting a deal easier
Murray thinks making a bad deal in December is the wrong move when you can get a better one in January. She says, “The dynamic changes dramatically on January 1st. . . . Anything we do will be a tax cut at that point, because taxes will have gone up.”
Murray and the Failure of the “Super Committee”
Sequestration, the spending cuts part of the fiscal cliff, exists because the Congress could not agree on what cuts to make in federal spending a year and a half ago.
A so-called “Super Committee” was formed to make those tough decisions by December 2011. That didn’t happen. They couldn’t agree on anything and the committee disbanded ignominiously without submitting a plan.
Patty Murray was the chief Democratic negotiator on the failed super committee.
Murray sees going over the cliff as the easiest way to achieve Democratic political goals. Her recent statements and lack of leadership in the super committee is willing proof she will let the United States fall off the fiscal cliff.
What Senator Murray and all Washington D.C. political leaders fail to realize is that their posturing and indecision has already damaged the economy of the United States… again this year. The damage worsens with each passing day.
The economy is stagnating. Companies and large investors are unable to make concrete investment, employment and spending decisions because of massive uncertainty over taxation, public debt and fear of the federal government’s schizophrenic inability to bring runaway spending under control.
Falling off the fiscal cliff, as Senator Murray suggests, will only worsen the situation.