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December 24, 2012
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At the fiscal cliff


I thought it's time for another chat with Bo the Builder, on the subject of the much belabored fiscal cliff. We met as usual at our favorite coffee emporium.

"Bo," I started, "you're a practical thinker, what's your opinion of how the Fiscal Cliff will ultimately be resolved?"

"Glad you asked," replied Bo. "We all need to put on our thinking caps because we're going to get nipped in the long run. And I consider myself conservative."

I raised my eyebrows.

"Get nipped?" I said in surprise. "Are you insinuating that we will pay (gasp) higher taxes?"

Bo grimaced.

"So-called conservative Republicans are enmeshed in a dream world of their own making. In spite of the fact that the economy thrived after Bill Clinton's substantial tax increases, and the fact that the Bush tax cuts generated only the most fleeting economic improvement, and in spite of the fact that tax savings for the top 1 percent were invested not in U.S. jobs, but in moving jobs overseas, and in spite of the fact of GOP undying support for military Middle East adventurism financed by going hat-in-hand to the world's largest communist country, Republican so-called conservatives still cling to the myth that the citizenry doesn't have to pay higher taxes to pay down the debt to finance those wars they applauded, as well as the myth that lower taxes will increase investment in U.S. jobs."

"All the while that Presidents Bush and Obama were spending us into trillion-dollar deficits, it was the Republican House that was empowered to appropriate the money for that spending, and that was anything but 'conservative.'"

"The House of Representatives gets to appropriate all federal spending, even for the President's outlandishly costly diplomatic trips, let alone the wars, and it consistently has given Obama whatever money he wanted, maybe in exchange for a quid-pro-quo that the President will keep the stupid wars going, and his Treasury and Fed would keep issuing debt to cover the deficits."

Bo went on.

"It's time both Republicans and Democrats got their houses in order, and agreed on first balancing the budget, and then what new taxes must absolutely be paid by whom to pay down the spending the Republican House already authorized over the past Bush/Obama decade."

"Republicans let Bush mislead them into believing they could have something for nothing, and the Tea Party, even more than others, still seems to believe what a 6th grade math class is smart enough to see through - that anyone, even a country, can borrow indefinitely without ever paying back."

"Today even the interest on that debt is intolerable. To that end the Republican Party is, along with its love affair with free trade, complicit with Democrats in already impoverishing the middle class for generations to come."

"Higher taxes will be paid to repay the spending already done, whether sooner or later is what all the fiscal cliff fuss is about."

"Thanks for the enlightenment, Bo."

Jack Van Dien


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The Record Courier Updated Dec 24, 2012 04:45PM Published Dec 24, 2012 04:45PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.