Excuse me if I don't celebrate last night's passage of the "Fiscal Cliff" bill. Unlike many of those in Washington (and those that elected them) I prefer not to govern by emotion.
I'm sure President Obama is feeling good this morning. The bill includes the tax increases on the "rich" that he based his entire re-election campaign upon--although he did have to "compromise" on what it means to be "rich"--as the threshold for the tax increase was raised from the 250-thousand a year the President wanted to 400-thousand that Republicans agreed to. But at least the President can get in front of the TV cameras and reassure his political base that the "rich are moving closer to paying their fair share". Anyone who thinks this will be the last effort to jack up the top earner rates during this administration knows absolutely nothing about Liberals.
And this "fair share" now being paid by the rich will decrease what was going to be an average Federal deficit of ONE-TRILLION-DOLLARS A YEAR to a "mere" $940-BILLION A YEAR. WOW! you talk about targeting the real cause of our fiscal mess! By the way, the guys throwing deck chairs off the Titanic called--they think you are all idiots.
And if you believe the middle class got out with no collateral damage--think again. The Obama Payroll Tax Cuts (which were meant to "stimulate the economy out of the recession") are now gone. That means two percent more will be taken out of your paychecks--without any recourse to make it up on your tax return. There is at least a silver lining to this measure, as the rate at which we underfund Social Security and Medicare will be slowed slightly.
And for all the self-congratulations going on in Washington right now, the Cliff Deal only delays the Sequester for another TWO MONTHS! That means we can now circle March First as our new "Fiscal Cliff"--with the automatic spending cuts still going into effect. Throw on top of that it's also the date when we will hit the Debt Ceiling again and it gives you some idea of the scope of the real solution to the mess that we just keep putting off and putting off.
I had to laugh when I saw comments about how the "New Congress" will be better able to deal with the Fiscal Crisis than the lame-duck one that passed this bill. When you consider that more than 90% of the morons that got us into this mess were sent back to Washington last month, you have to wonder what is going to change. Oh well, at least we feel good about ourselves today--and that is all that really counts in today's society.