Wednesday, January 2, 2013

America Avoided One Fiscal Cliff But is Headed Toward More.

As congress attempted to meet the budget deadline in order to avert economic disaster, senators from The House of Representatives found themselves unable to form a positive, constructive solution for America's future. Collapsing and being escorted to the hospital under the pretense of "extreme exhaustion" from what sources called “a six, maybe seven-hour day”, the “better half” of America’s legislative body persevered and churned out a compromise. While hundreds of members in a 525-member Congress complained of symptoms ranging from dizziness to headaches, the rest of the members helped to seal a deal that ended the Bush-era tax cuts for the segment of people in America earning 400,000 dollars or more per year. 

The deal, however, wasn’t a sweeping victory for either side. Democrats accepted a higher threshold concerning who would be affected by the 'tax increase" while Republicans conceded to making the top 1.5 percent of Americans pay higher taxes. The deal seems like a more-than-fair compromise, considering that the Bush-era tax cuts were meant to expire, not to be permanently extended to anyone. Now, they are extended permanently to those making 400,000 dollars-a-year or less instead of the original 250,000-dollar threshold. And while both parties gave ground to one another, it seems that hard right-wing Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) have a chip on their shoulder about the compromise. 

Shortly after the negotiations ended, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) vowed revenge, saying: "As God is my witness, we will try to do a better job of bringing this nation to the brink of Armageddon.” House Speaker John Boehner issued a heartfelt apology to the top earners of the country, saying, “We came to Washington to do the work of 1.5 per cent of the American people, and we didn’t get it done.” Mr. Boehner and his constituents, who he claims are “understandably despondent” because their taxes rose as a result of the deal, now seem eager to gain lost ground by squabbling over the next three "fiscal cliffs".

Mr. Boehner says that he did his best to offer the wealthy consolation by assuring them that millions of middle-class and working-class Americans would suffer more than they would.  According to Boehner, that would usually put them in a better mood. Overall, the fiscal cliff deal doesn’t address increased payroll taxes, and Federal taxes for 77 percent of Americans will rise. Individuals earning 50,000 dollars a year will lose almost 1,000 dollars a year from the increase.
Mitch Mconnell basking in self-congratulation.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) reminds us that “It’s up to [the Republican Party] to concoct entirely new optional disasters that we will have to undo at some later date in a more or less half-assed way.” To the chagrin of the 98.5 percent of Americans whose livelihood is affected by the antics of the Republicans, they don’t seem to mind destroying the economy in the name of politics. If Republicans mean what they say, then there is no need to celebrate yet; the highly-anticipated squabbles over the debt ceiling, the sequester and the Continuing Budget Resolution will, no doubt, continue to have an adverse effect on the American economy.