The Fiscal Cliff Drama

I’m starting to suspect that we are being held in all this suspense about the fiscal cliff on purpose. Every news channel has been spinning an apocalyptic narrative about the supposed (and in my opinion completely imaginary) horror of the fiscal cliff. And now I’m hearing on the CNN about a 3-month delay of the sequester. All of this just has to be tied to the end of the year because that makes the end of the world narrative easier to sell.

By the time we get out of this particular drama, thee will be the suspense of the Congress elections. And so the drama will continue with no respite.

What is your best guess as to the purpose behind the completely fabricated fiscal cliff drama?

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21 comments on “The Fiscal Cliff Drama

  1. Don’t know what to say Clarissa. It is terribly upsetting that a country, once considered the leader in creativity, entrepreneurship and opportunities for all, is in the hands and at the will of this bunch of irresponsible, ignorant and coward politicians.

      • @Z

        You do realize if the “people” didnt buy the “corporations” products they wouldnt have so much money to invest. Also if the “people” decided to educate themselves slightly more they would probably know this. Personal accountability really is a b…….

  2. It’s pretty obvious the big conglomerates that own these pathetic news channels like Time Warner/Turner Broadcasting, News Corp, Comcast, NBCUniversal just want to make a quick buck off of us by perpetuating this black and white left vs. right nonsense. I’ve gotten to see much better, more informative commentary on the fiscal cliff via the many blogs out there anyway. Twitter has done a much better job at keeping me up to date on the news than these outdated channels.

    Happy New Year, Clarissa! I suggest staying away from these news networks at all costs and focus on planning some productive New Year’s resolutions and spending time with the family. The news can make one mentally ill sometimes.

  3. Political gamesmanship. Neither party has any interest in resolving the debt problem. They have created an out-of-control monster. If either party resolved to balance the budget in say two years, they would be cutting their political throats. That would require over two years budgets lowering expenditure and raising taxes by $1 trillion a year!

    So both parties play around at the edges of the problem. The Republicans would like to keep taxes low and play with minor spending cuts. The democrats, including Obama, want to increase taxes on the rich (that deals with $4 billion of the $1 trillion annual deficit!) while placing all cuts of denfense ((for another $4 billion per annum).

    They can only get away with this charade because Americans are too locked into a system that provides services without paying for them. Eventually, this republic will collapse once market forces force action.

    • “Neither party has any interest in resolving the debt problem. They have created an out-of-control monster. If either party resolved to balance the budget in say two years, they would be cutting their political throats. That would require over two years budgets lowering expenditure and raising taxes by $1 trillion a year!”

      Trying to pay off the debt in a mere two years would be terrible policy even if it were good politics: pulling that much money out of economy all at once would probably cause a catastrophic recession.

  4. I am more upset by another bit of Congressional foolery: Thanks to the racism of the Republicans in not wanting to provide protections for Native American rape victims, (Refusing to close the loophole which allows non-Native rapists to rape on reservations without fear of prosecution) VAWA (The Violence Against Women Act) will not be re-authorized.
    Bravo, misogynists.

  5. I thinnk it is to keep everyone on edge and focused on an immediate crisis rather than the longer term. Also, the more scared, vulnerable and confused people feel, the easier it is to get them to acquiesce to something that is not actually in their best interest (or really necessary).

  6. “Z You do realize if the “people” didnt buy the “corporations” products they wouldnt have so much money to invest. Also if the “people” decided to educate themselves slightly more they would probably know this. Personal accountability really is a b…….”

    Spare us this naivete Tit for Tat. I *don’t* buy from Dyncorp. And I have no way of avoiding semi direct support of the oil companies, even if I never buy gas. That is just an example.

    I do realize that in first grade civics they tell you that by writing enough letters and so on you can get your point across to Congress, and by knocking on enough doors you can get a good candidate elected to it and so on.

    The world in reallity is a lot more complicated than than and I would be willing to bet you have never actually worked on a US political campaign, never stood up in court on the legality of what the government has done, etc.

  7. @Z

    I agree with you whole heartedly, but until we ALL accept the facts that we are part of the creation of the so called corporations and disconnect then we are as they say, “doomed to repeat”. I think the first step is bang on for most recovering addicts even oil ones.

    1.We admitted we were powerless over ??? – that our lives had become unmanageable

    • If you mean all go off grid that is unlikely, and I think that addiction model obfuscates the issues. A huge movement FOR alternative energy would be very salutary and so would a good third party although I realize there are structural barriers to this.

      • @Z

        I think youre missing my point, which is, we got where we are one step at a time. One individual at a time. The process starts when the individuals(me, maybe you) admit our continuing part in it. I know its not comfortable and we do love our comfort, but………….

  8. The fiscal cliff thing is a manufactured crisis, I agree. It is my understanding that this current ‘fiscal cliff’ deadline came about because the Republicans decided they wouldn’t approve the ‘debt ceiling’ limit several months ago, which never troubled them (or a lot of Democrats) during the years that Bush was President and they wrote a blank check to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The fiscal cliff is their makeshift solution to a manufactured stalemate that has provisions that neither side likes. I think Republicans collude with the Democrats to keep up this wholly manufactured crisis so they can cut social programs like Medicare, Social Security (funded separately out of payroll taxes and is not part of the deficit) and other things. A lot of Congresspeople are kept by huge corporate donors. That Social Security money looks sweet to investment companies.

    There was an attemptseveral years ago to privatize Social Security, and people keep screaming about how it’s going to die every few years. Notice how nobody proposes raising the taxable limit of income for Social Security which would solve a quite a bit of that problem. Also notice that a lot of the same people who scream about the deficit do not want to cut the defense budget or raise certain taxes, which would actually work to solve a good bit of the deficit (I called my Congressperson last time — his aide had a cow and started talking to me about why the military could not be cut period, in his opinion.) Totally eliminating social programs would not eliminate the deficit but would certainly cause a lot of pain.

    Here play around: Fiscal Cliff Adventure

    I also think there’s quite a bit of transposed anxiety about actual crises they refuse to deal with like climate change (what are we going to do about the next Sandy hitting a major population center?), long term un/underemployment of large sectors of the population (broke, pissed and lots of time on their hands) and the fact that people who ran the economy into the ground have not been punished.

  9. Well it seems that the bill passed and the fiscal cliff has been averted. I was listening to the news on the TV channels today and none of them discussed all the billions in tax goodies given to the corporations buried in the fine print of the bill. (HR 8) Fortunately, Matt Stoller has done a good job reporting on these corporate hand outs in the blogosphere. Mass media as usual is missing in action.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/eight-corporate-subsidies-in-the-fiscal-cliff-bill-from-goldman-sachs-to-disney-to-nascar.html

    Also last night while everyone was congratulating themselves on the fiscal cliff bill passage, the failure of the passage of the bill on federal disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy was ignored. New Orleans got almost 100 billion for Hurricane Katrina and thanks to the Republicans, New York gets NOTHING! And Louisiana wants secession? People will be starving in the cold but even a little spirit of the season seems to be lacking in these right wingers. “Are there no poor houses!” Dickens.

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