Are you as frustrated as I am with the political gridlock over the impending “Fiscal Cliff?” Apparently, you are, as congressional approval ratings are sitting at 18% according to the most recent Gallup poll. 18%!!!
For those of you unaware, the fiscal cliff is a man-made disaster that could wreck our economy just as easily as a cataclysmic natural disaster. It is a combination of tax increases and spending cuts worth $7 trillion and it would occur on January 1st if Democrats and Republicans are unable to find common ground. $7 trillion is hard to get your head around. A trillion is a million million. Expressed another way, a trillion dollars is $1,000,000,000,000. Staggering, right?
Here we are at the 5th of December and both sides are still engaged in finger pointing and party rhetoric. The best summary I have found of what happens if a deal is not reached comes from the non-partisan Tax Policy Center. They estimate middle-class families would pay about $2,000 a year more in taxes, or about 4%. The top 1% of taxpayers would see their tax bills go up around 7%, or about $120,000. Increased tax revenues, along with proposed spending cuts, would cut the projected federal budget deficit nearly in half, but likely at the expense of millions of jobs.
Obviously, Republicans have to bend on the tax rate issue. There is just no other way. Conversely, Democrats must give some on the social program component. But where are the statesmen? Where are the men and women who will think independently and will cross party lines for the good of the country? It’s disturbing to me that when lawmakers even hint at striking a conciliatory tone they are raked over the coals by their own party. Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss (a Republican) found out the hard way recently that you don’t dare extend an olive branch when he spoke of breaking an anti-tax pledge he signed 20 years ago. He has already been nicknamed “Taxby” by his party hard-liners and he is considered a target in the 2014 election. Naturally, he has since backtracked and appears to have fallen in line like a good soldier.
I want some folks willing to sit down and hammer this out. Damn the next election. Show some backbone! Show that you care more about the United States of America than yourself.
Thanks for reading. Do you have a different view? I’d love to hear your comments whether you agree or disagree.
Project of the week: The recently completed Welcome Center & Administration Building at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida is very impressive, in our not-so humble opinion. The water features below our radiused panels really add a unique touch.