“The Fiscal Cliff” an Example of Myth and Propaganda

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger

gold-dollar-signI don’t know about you but I was certainly happy that I woke up this morning. For a few years now there has been great speculation that the world was going to end yesterday. As I fell asleep about 1:00pm last night it was with knowing that in Mexico it was three hours earlier and so that the dread prediction of the world’s end by the Mayan Calendar still may have been possible. The whole idea was a blatant misrepresentation of Mayan belief and hoax-like, yet that didn’t prevent many from making this non-story into yet another way to frighten people. Frightening people with made-up nonsense seems to be a human trait and certainly has been exploited throughout history for one sort of gain or another.

Fear not though, because just as the collective We has just bitten one bullet, another comes along to frighten us once again with disaster and that “disaster” will occur on December 31, 2012, as we come to the end of another turmoil ridden year in societal intercourse. I’m writing, of course, about the “Looming Fiscal Cliff” that has been so very prominent in what our mainstream media calls “news and commentary” and our leaders of both parties call governance. My opinion and that of many others with far more economic expertise than myself, is that the “Fiscal Cliff” is a mere “bogeyman”, used by those politicians on the Right and the Left as leverage to accomplish their particular political agendas.

Since one of the interests of this blog is the Constitution and the consequent Rule of Law that should be its’ result, this comes within our purview because serious issues of national interest are being driven by false mythology grown to myth like proportion. Let’s look at what is behind this mythology and its propaganda.

The premise of the “Fiscal Cliff” is that unless something is accomplished to prevent its dire consequences from occurring on December 31st, our country will slip into the throes of economic disaster. What is the nature of the dire events that will occur?

“The “fiscal cliff’, however, is an invented term applied by politicians to the date various temporary legislative changes to the country’s tax code and spending policy take effect.   Politicians began instituting temporary tax cuts with the intention of later transforming them into permanent law in the 1990s.   According to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report, this practice exploded during the George W. Bush administration and was accompanied by budget gimmickry to hide their affect on the federal deficit.

 The Bush era tax cuts, known respectively as the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003, are at the center of the storm that is raging around the “fiscal cliff’.   The legislation, which was set to expire in 2010 but was extended to 2012, significantly reduced rates on income, estate and dividends and capital gains taxes and exemptions.  

 After the sunset of the Bush era tax cuts, estate and gift tax exemptions will end raising the tax rates on transferred estates over $1 million to 55%.   Long-term capital gains taxes will rise from its current rate of 15% to 20%. The tax bracket for the country’s wealthiest citizens will rise from the current 35% to 39.6%.  In other words, the tax code will largely return to the rates that were in place prior to the George W. Bush administration.”http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Myth-of-the-Fiscal-Cli-by-Abigail-W-Adams-121218-861.html

Now when I read the above my feeling is what does this have to do with me? The Bush Era Tax cuts did little for me, perhaps an extra few hundred dollars a year in my pocket, but given the cost of living today that effect is negligible. As far as Estate Taxes, my children know enough about my financial wealth to understand that what they stand to inherit could possibly pay for my burial and little else that would make them economically better off. In truth by the ideas presented above it seems those most in turmoil about this “disaster” are those whose income is at the top of the heap. Now those on the Left argue that this will also mean the expiration of the so-called middle class tax cuts. As a member of the middle class I remember those cuts well and my overall impression then as now is, the little extra money was nice, but really insignificant in terms of its effect on my standard of living. Where I guess it had some meaning is in a collective sense of the actual extra money spent being circulated in and therefore boosting our economy. The bald reality is that the extra money gained by the working classes does enter the economy, while the extra money garnered by our elite, is simply re-invested in financial instruments for their interest yield and have little effect on the economy via the hoary theory of “trickle down’. It doesn’t “trickle down”, rather it pools at the top.

“This return to the pre-Bush era tax code, coupled with the implementation of spending cuts to reduce the federal deficit and tax penalties associated with health care reform, have many economists screaming recession.   Fear of a recession has politicians scrambling to reach a deal that would prevent the parameters of already established legislation from taking effect.   The Republican demand in “fiscal cliff’ negotiations in Congress:   the permanent implementation of the Bush era tax cuts.

The Congressional Budget Office reported that the Bush era tax cuts were responsible for 14% of the swing from federal budget surplus to federal budget deficit over 2002-2011.   The Council of Foreign Relations projects that a permanent extension of the tax cuts will increase federal debt by $3 trillion over the next 10 years.   However, due to the fear inspired by the economic catastrophe that is associated with the “fiscal cliff’, the temporary tax cuts instituted to fulfill the campaign promises of George W. Bush may become permanent under Barack Obama. http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Myth-of-the-Fiscal-Cli-by-Abigail-W-Adams-121218-861.html

So what are the consequences of jumping off the “fiscal cliff’?   According to many experts, there are none, because the “fiscal cliff’ does not exist.   Ken Fisher, named as one of the thirty most influential people in the investment industry, pointed out in an interview with Forbes that changes to the tax code and federal spending do not take affect in one fell swoop.  He refers to the “fiscal cliff’ as, “more of a fiscal rolling plain.” (Ken Fisher Talks the Fiscal Cliff, Forbes, 12/18/2012)

There is no “Fiscal Cliff” that this country will fall off from immediately in the New Year, but merely a sequence of events that could be adequately dealt with due process and due diligence as 2013 proceeds. However, the major political parties, each for their own reasons, are willing to say “boo” to the American People to push forward their different agendas. My own suspicion is that much of this fear mongering propaganda has been put forth by those whose economic interests are most vitally at stake and those whose political canon dictates less taxes and less government. “Less Government” except for that “government” most vital to their economic interests, with our bloated Defense Budget being a prime example. The other party of the corporatocracy, the Democratic Party, has once again been upstaged by masterful propaganda and so must play along with this “Fiscal Cliff” mythology by adding their own spin to it. Lately, that has included our President seeming to offer up “entitlement cuts” to programs that aren’t really “entitlements”, but must be pretended to be, since the prevailing propaganda war calling Social Security an “entitlement” seemingly has been won by his opposition. Those who pay payroll taxes, in many case significantly more money than their income taxes, should know that Social Security is not an “entitlement”. However, they have become confused by the propaganda created myth that “Social Security” is not an insurance program, which it most certainly is.

What is going on here put in simple terms is that the wealthy elite of our country have used their media minions and pundit hangers-on to control the public discussion and pollute it into mythology. To understand this better I would to present “Ten Numbers the Rich Would Like Fudged” by Paul Buchheit, from a Nationofchange OpEd.

“1, Only THREE PERCENT of the very rich are entrepreneurs.

 2. Only FOUR OUT OF 150 countries have more wealth inequality than us.

 3. An amount equal to ONE-HALF the GDP is held untaxed overseas by rich Americans.

 4. Corporations stopped paying HALF OF THEIR TAXES after the recession.

 5. Just TEN Americans made a total of FIFTY BILLION DOLLARS in one year.

 6. Tax deductions for the rich could pay off 100 PERCENT of the deficit.

 7. The average single black or Hispanic woman has about $100 IN NET WORTH.

 8. Elderly and disabled food stamp recipients get $4.30 A DAY FOR FOOD.

 9. Young adults have lost TWO-THIRDS OF THEIR NET WORTH since 1984.

10. The American public paid about FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS to bail out the banks.

Bonus for the super-rich: A QUADRILLION DOLLARS in securities trading nets ZERO sales tax revenue for the U.S.” http://www.nationofchange.org/ten-numbers-rich-would-fudged-1353335225

The article linked above provides the backup information and reasoning behin those ten and a bonus numbers that nobody seems to include in this national debate over what the true issues of economic policy entail. The responsibility for this is bi-partisan, since both parties merely represent to different approaches to how to continue the elite in their stranglehold of power in the American System. This is a situation that I think the Founding Fathers might have envisioned, but in giving us the tool of the Constitution, felt the people were those who would have to ensure that their liberties remained in intact.

The question that Americans need to examine is how do they look beyond the propaganda spawned mythology spouted by almost all politicians in this country and come to grips with the real issues that lie below these myths we live by. The “Fiscal Cliff” is a sham and yet we see the most “serious people” in our Nation, like our President play along with it, rather than expose it for the sham it is.

There are deep problems and there are deep divisions in our country that is real and can be agreed with by all. However, the only way to solve these issues is too see what they actually are, rather than solving problems that are chimeric.

Submitted by: Mike Spindell, guest blogger.

76 thoughts on ““The Fiscal Cliff” an Example of Myth and Propaganda

  1. Let us just call it what it really is, “The Fecal Cliff”. A completely fabricated piece of *#%& being used solely for political purposes. Happy Holidays to all!

  2. Mike,

    Great post. Most Americans, if they really looked at the “Bush Tax Cuts” would find they were really a tax hike. The withholding tables were adjusted so the first 10k of income was not taxed. That income would need to be taxed at some point–when you filled out your 1040.

    I found that out the hard way, in 2004/5 when our final tax bill was very big. So big the IRS sent us a letter telling us we needed to pay quarterly tax installments. We opted for extra money on our withholding–not much of a tax cut there. My family got hosed by those cuts as we has extra withholding from our pay for a number of years.

  3. Strange that you should mention the Mayan thing, because …..

    Going over the Fiscal Cliff will have a lot in common with how some people imagine the end-of-it-all and the Rapture.

    What happens is ‘our betters’ continue to be paralysed and cash flow becomes an exercise in trying to patch over things, robbing Peter to Pay Paul but often discovering that Paul is fresh out of funds.
    The trigger event is that someone in the Federal Reserve fails to get delivery of more paper, and the printing presses can’t print dollars.
    This brings about an enormous vacuum in cash-dispensing machines.
    When people try to operate the machines, they get sucked into them. Whooooosshhhhhhh!
    They don’t even have to get the PIN right.
    All over the country, crowds will gather around machines in banks, malls, etc. Whooooosh!

  4. Re Carlin clip: Back in the day much of Carlin’s material was considered edgy but, by the establishment, also hyperbole. Easier to marginalize his incisive work as the foul mouthed product of a malcontent.
    But there’s nothing hyperbolic about his insight. All the myth and propaganda around the ‘american dream’, that pseudo concept that keeps millions in line hoping for the gravy train, or at least a dollop,

    Take note, amidst the accurate rendering of the status quo, what we now call the PTB and the MOTU, so obvious has it become that they own us, of the prescient line: “and now they’re coming for your Social Security”

    If there is a dime not nailed down, they want it. You deserve nothing, and better not to complain because we’ve got a surveillance state to deal with you.

  5. Mike S. (This is OT but interesting … if the recent polls in Israel prove to be correct, it looks like Netanyahu will get the most seats and be prime minister again. Talk about a cliff … )

    Back to finances and politics: Had the House passed Plan B, they could have gone home with adequate cover knowing the Senate probably wouldn’t thus making the Senate (Democrats) the bad guys and improving the Republicans bargaining position in 2013.

    But, on the whole, the tea baggers are too inexperienced to see this and as a result may have saved themselves, individually, a smidgen of trouble with their home base but, collectively, done a lot of damage to their party overall and to their bargaining position come January.

    Boehner was looking at the bigger picture and will now be able to tell his conference dumba$$es … I told you so when they return to find their bargaining position weakened and public opinion out to get them.

  6. Blouise, Let’s hope those tea baggers find out that the folks back home have wised up and think they’re dunderheads who will vote them out next opportunity.

  7. Blouise, Yep. Boehner has a real problem. “His problem was that the 2010 mid-term elections brought in a wave of Tea party radicals. He has tried – and failed – to control them. During a stand-off last year over raising the federal debt limit Boehner managed an agreement with Obama, the so-called “grand bargain”, but when he went back to his own party, he faced opposition led by Eric Cantor, the House majority leader.

    This time around it seemed Boehner would pull it off. He purged radicals from prized committee positions and lined up Cantor and other fiscal hawks such as Paul Ryan and Grover Norquist on side. On the nightly news he would stride confidently in and out of meetings, seemingly in control. No longer an enigma, ordinary Americans learned to pronounce his name (Bay-ner).

    And then, on Thursday night, it all fell apart. Boehner in effect admitted powerlessness.

    “Now it is up to the president to work with senator Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,” he said. Resolving the fiscal mess, he suggested, may require divine intervention. “How we get there, God only knows.”

    The Hill buzzed with speculation whether he would keep his job as speaker. “In light of what happened last night, if you aren’t concerned, shouldn’t you be?” one reporter asked Friday. ” The Guardian

  8. Blouise, It looks like Boehner’s republicans will have to forge a deal with Pelosi to get something passed. Hopefully, they will pass the middle class tax cut in the senate and send it over.

  9. “He lost control of his U.S. House caucus. He lost a chance to limit the impact of tax increases to only the most wealthy. And he lost face.

    So far, he hasn’t lost his title as U.S. House speaker –in part because “no one wants that job,” said Ron Bonjean, a former aide to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, an Illinois Republican. “Right now it’s a hard job to have.”

    Boehner’s admission yesterday that he pulled his own deficit-reduction proposal from consideration because he didn’t have enough votes for it to pass is casting doubt on his leadership skills. To successfully manage an agreement now, Boehner, 63, will likely have to rely more on Democrats.

    “It weakens the entire Republican Party, the Republican majority,” said Representative Steven LaTourette, a nine-term Ohio Republican who is retiring after this session. “If you’re not a governing majority, you’re not going to be a majority very long.” ” Bloomberg news

  10. There is a lot of mis pronounciation going on in Washington and on the Fox Channel. The dumb ones who went in dumb and came out dumb too can not pronounce the word “fiscal”. Whether they are trying to say “fiscal policy” or the “fiscal cliff” they pronounce it as “physical”. The head of the Grand Old Gophers in the House is named Boehner and few pronounce it in German as it should be: “Boner”. The fiscal cliff phrase came about when Boner was in the head of a motor yacht reading Cliff Notes on plumbing. This was while he was on vacation. He emailed Eddy Cantor’s son about a crisis on his ranch in Virginia and they went back and forth and then Cantor wrote another email to Fox and the word physical cliff was bolderized by Fox Bolderizer to Fiscal Cliff with no help from the Notes. And that we have it. Fair and balanced, all the news thats fit to print or sprech. And I am one dog who knows how to spell his name.

  11. Boy. Talk about myth. That is one dog we have to keep off the Dogalogue Machine. You cant pick on Boehner like that. Down boy.

  12. Excuse me for again displaying my ignorance, but I vaguely remember being taught that the “American Dream” was that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

    Now, I am well aware that our Revolutionary founders crafted a white dictatorship and that “all men” basically meant enlightened (or entitled) WASPs. But then came the Civil War, and our Reconstructionist forefathers universalized “all men,” and true “American” exceptionalism shone forth — a new birth of freedom dedicated to finishing the work of our founders: equal protection under the law for all people. Equal opportunity. Equal respect. Equal dignity.

    The struggle continues, or at least I thought it did. I just don’t recall when the “American Dream” morphed into the AmeRican Wetdream of rampant consumerism, and a government dedicated to me, mine, and more.

    Ame Rica — Loves Riches

  13. Mike:

    I wonder if the introduction of the idea “fiscal cliff” is just symptomatic of congress not effectively doing anything until a crisis unfolds. So the term comes up because they are only used to being proded by a crisis. In a way it is more of a reverse action.

    The contiual growth of the public debt is going to eventually, if left unabated, cripple our economy just as it has done elsewhere.

    I wonder if some game theory could be beneficial here. If one assumes congress only waits until a crisis has unfolded before change is made, I would opin that if congress was forced into a different threashhold for a crisis, rather than having unspecific limits it might react more appropriately.

    Many states have balanced budget requirements. Our state legislature has such requirements. The reps and senators fight tooth and nail to balance the budget and politics dictates everything, but the outcome is that the budget must be balanced. With the federal congress there is no solid limit to what they can spend, other than a debt ceiling that they can change on their own, so what happens is they just fight it out as to how much over budget they are going to be. If they were foced to constrain their battles to balancing the budget and that was an unbreakable law that they would be looked at as being failures for not balancing the budget, I would say it would happen during this session.

  14. To those who do the name calling (tea baggers), I ask why? Do you think yourselves smarter? A difference of opinion and you have to make yourselves feel better by acting like school age kids. And to do this on a site that is all about our Constitution. Really?
    Some people think our government is way out of sync with our constitution. Taking on roles that cost lots of money but are not allowed by the 10th amendment. Waging war without an act of war. If you would listen to what the tea party people are saying perhaps you might have a conversation rather than debase yourselves with name calling.

  15. Paul, about whether I think myself smarter than the tea-baggers? The answer is (and this one will be hard for any tea-bagger to understand) yes and no. I am not AS smart when it comes to being cagey, manipulative, opportunistic and coercive. But I am smarter by far when it comes to looking at any situation and mentally extrapolating to see what the real consequences can be. So when I see that perhaps I could get richer today by taking away something from a person who owns it, is entitled to keep owning it, and has no responsibility to me to voluntarily give it to me instead of continuing to own it, I also look at the situation and say, “But if I do take away from him simply because I CAN and he can’t defend himself from my taking it, what happens next year to him, and the year after that to ME?”

    I look at how atrociously abused the lower classes are in this country and I realize that they are powerless and the tea-baggers can continue to decimate them at will, and I say, “Uh oh, that’s dumb. There will come a day when it will all turn into something that even the tea-baggers will not like and that will, at that point in time, be irreversible, inexorable, and exceedingly NASTY.”

    So I’m smarter, long-term.

  16. Comments from the flutter-struck kid, 😉

    Timely, eternal and to the heart of things.
    (I’ve already wrote the Prez and said to get off the stage with their “Cliff” BS.
    The CBO part:
    “The Congressional Budget Office reported that the Bush era tax cuts were responsible for 14% of the swing from federal budget surplus to federal budget deficit over 2002-2011.———————-
    Considering that the recession, the buyouts, the rescues, the auto support, the Bush TARP, etc. were already underway when 2008 and Obama came on line. That figure should have its dates corrected which might give another view of what the other 86 percent was composed of. The wars as I understand it were financed OFF the federal budget, which added 2 trillion to the the national debt. You point to our response to myths, that both parties are happy with them and their effect, and currently no sign of change than trading our earned pensions etc. for a small tap of the rich.

    THUS, there is no essential reason to NOT let the acts sunset into the cesspool where it came from.

    To that I would like to see a tax on overseas money, Be taxed or have it seized as the product of a racket. Which is of course is what the the rich are operating.

    How we force from such is the BIG question.
    Having found the targets, the rich and the bought pols; we stand without both guns and ammo.

    I come with nothing new, Worthless comment. But sitting with the audience and clapping my hands is not satisfying.
    I must scream a bit too.

  17. Oro Lee,

    Have heard the name Carlin mentioned here but yours is the first that I’ve seen. He had it down, nailed down, and flayed except for lacking a knife.
    Must have more of him. Wiki, google, utube here I come.

    A big thank you.

  18. “I wonder if the introduction of the idea “fiscal cliff” is just symptomatic of congress not effectively doing anything until a crisis unfolds.”


    There is some truth to that as being part of what is going on. A second part is that people can get caught up at times with their own rhetoric. Grover Norquist re-defined all increased taxation to be inherently wrong. It became Republican canon and locked Republican legislators into being unable to deal with issues as they arose, limiting their ability to perform naturally as legislators. In the 1950’s for instance Everett Dirksen and Bob Taft were extremely conservative in its truest sense, yet they were able to compromise when necessary for the good of the country and not worry about primary challenges because they didn’t meet some arcane test of “party line purity”. This is not the case today and so the rhetoric and rigid political theory dictate the inability to respond to issues before they become crises.

    My aim with this piece was not to present a partisan screed, especially because I think both parties are to blame, though for different reasons. On the Democratic side they bear blame because they allow the rhetoric to cast the issue to the public. They too pretend that we are on a “Fiscal Cliff” and try to use that Myth for their own gains. By being expedient about the issue they seem not to realize that they exacerbate it and make real solutions that much farther away. It was Ronald Reagan, who has reached Saintlike eminence to many, who said that Social Security was not linked to the budget deficit. Yet as we see with President Obama’s ill conceived last offer on the “Fiscal Cliff” he has foolishly added it to the negotiating mix. The end result is that both are parties are engaging in a charade that not only frightens the public, but I will believe it will add to instability in the market and derail ant economic recovery we are making.

    “The continual growth of the public debt is going to eventually, if left unabated, cripple our economy just as it has done elsewhere.”

    I don’t dispute your statement but would say that besides those alternatives I quoted in my piece, the “800 lb. Gorilla in our room” nationally, is that neither side will allow the defense budget to be called into question. This article below is one of many describing the enormity of our Defense Budget and compares it to others around the world.http://www.globalresearch.ca/more-than-50-of-us-government-spending-goes-to-the-military/18852.

    We spend more on defense than the next fifteen highest defense spending countries combine, with Russia and China included in this list. Now while you can Google ample information on Defense Expenditures remember that will never take into account the so-called “Black Budget” that funds our intelligence operations and remains top secret to all but a few. Whatever the amount spent on defense is, it is certainly way above 50% of our National Budget and definitely about 58% of the discretionary spending listed in the US budget. Given that this country’s military might so far surpasses that of many of the world’s most powerful nations combined, why aren’t budget cuts for Defense on the table if we are so threatened by a budget deficit? To me at least this gives lie to the whole proposition and indicates the artificiality of this fiscal crisis. Neither party has the courage, nor possibly the power, to challenge our out of control Defense/Intelligence Industry. President Eisenhower’s valedictory warnings to “Beware of the Military/Industrial Complex” have shown his Conservative Republican prescience. Our country is in crisis because our political system has two parties that both represent the “elite” of this country, though they each “seem” to pursue two different views on how to govern.

  19. Wrong. The Fiscal Cliff is very real….. and very dangerous to the economy of the US. The failure of the politicians to resolve it is ALREADY having an adverse impact: companies are DELAYING capital expenditures, companies are NOT hiring more workers, consumers in the middle class are NOT spending to the degree that they would ordinarily, the stock market has already taken a hit on the mere suggestion that the fiscal cliff will not be resolved, and so on.

    And this is only the beginning. If, in fact, taxes do rise for the middle class, the US economy will undeniably enter a severe recession, and, over time, possibly a depression.

    The fiscal cliff is further exacerbated by the fact that NEITHER political party is addressing the core problem of waste, fraud, abuse, and mismangement in government. Both parties are quite happy with the fact that waste and fraud in government are continuing to rise to stratospheric levels. The only thing they are concerned about is which party’s backers should BENEFIT from that waste and fraud.

    No, much better to focus on class warfare than REAL issues. Much better to focus the public’s attention on such things as what income level is the upper limit to qualify as middle class. And when they talk about cutting government spending, they’re really talking about cutting programs that produce real benefits, NOT cutting a dime of waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement. Like good magicians, the politicians of each side are very adept at misdirection.

    Unfortunately, the public is all too willing to go along with this charade and song and dance. Ora Lee has posted one of George Carlin’s masterpiece comic diatribes on the thing called “The American Dream.” What Carlin has said in this piece is outrageous, but it is also true, and that is why it is so funny.

    For a more subtle comic take on today’s situation, here’s a clip from one of the great comic teams–and one of the most unique teams–of all time, Nichols & May. Now, the focus of this piece from the 1950s was the quiz show scandal, so you have to know just a little about that to follow the clip. But that shouldn’t be a problem, thanks to the entertaining movie Quiz Show that was made many years ago. Like Carlin, Nichols & May are comicly hitting the public over the head on their willingness to be misdirected from the real issues of the time, but, as I’ve said, Nichols & May go about it much with gentle nudges:

  20. The ladies follow it all exceedingly well. Thanks from one who does not.

    I only ask as some do, if there are not contrary results possible.
    —-How can the Senate send over a “middle class tax” bill, when stopping it only requires an anonymized cell phone call, threatening a filibuster.
    —-Who is going to inform the folks at home that the tea baggers missed the Plan B chance? Not the media, at all levels, which are dependent on their largesse and that of their supporters. Generally, folks abandon the ideas they have already internalized least willingly. The message instead will be: it is “Washington and the incalcitrant Dems” who will be blamed and the campaign coffers swell once again.
    —-What says that the Dems and Obama will fare better in January? The corporations do control the agenda, the media, and the most attractive slogans. As long as Obama is seen as a conceder and not a leader, then his prospects are not better. We don’t need him as a Harry Reid, but as a Theodore Roosevelt.

  21. The so called fiscal cliff is a statutorily enacted cliff. It cannot be a disaster looming because Congress in its wisdom enacted these laws. Had they termed it a fiscal cliff or a physical cliff or cliff notes when they enacted it then it would not have passed muster. Lets just agree to not agree and fall over the cliff and see what happens. Begin shorting stocks or stock indexes today. Before its too late. We are about to drive off into the Atlantic Ocean. Say a prayer for the Great Republic. Buy Apple today. Sell Kraft. Get no where near B of A. Short Wells Fargo. Long on Ding Dongs.

  22. Ralph Adamo.

    The effects thar you point out are well seen in advanced, and used “owned”, and the charade of democratic government extends down to the local PTA . The PTA part I added, but lets not forget the back pockets where as Malisha keeps reminding us of the rotten justice system which can be easily bought,

  23. Two “Enters” gets a premature ejaculation and an involuntary post. Hope some idea went to comprehend.

    BTW, look at the length of the finger that Elaine May is pointing with.
    If it is not a comic attrap then my name is St. Nick.

    Good Yule to all. I guess we prayed to Odin, when that name was adopted for use here.

    Had a short encounter yesterday with a swaggering newcomer from Jamaica imported by his girlfriend. He had already mastered God Jul. She smiled and we parted as brothers after I won him over by admiring his style.
    He had checked my eyes and bought my words.

    When did you last talk with an immigrant?

  24. Mike.

    Thank you for the clairity on the issue. Reading your reply I kept thinking of the military / industrial complex speech by Ike, and then you mentioned it. Sometimes I think with regard to your reference to the 800 pound gorilla, it seems the taking steps to make him leave, they keep feeding him and feeding him to placate him and now he is 900 pounds and even less likely to go away.

    Also Mike, there might be a note left for you by the post office of a package they tried to deliver to you. That is if I got the address correct. Enjoy.

  25. I think politics has become pretty much a “wag the dog” operation, in the sense that what is going to be done is already decided by the people with the power to decide; there is no real contest, but for the show (and the big business of campaign donations, political organization donations, and literally creating a show for the print, Internet, Radio and TV pundits to seize upon) the two sides pretend to be at loggerheads until the last minute, and both sides then make fake “concessions” to what they agreed upon months ago, with the excuse that they had no choice, the other side is too damn greedy, half a loaf is better than none, blah, blah, and more blah.

    That works for both sides, really, in terms of cash donations, far better than if people knew the real negotiations were dry bifocals horse-trading finished three months ago without any emotion or BS. If people knew that, their wallets and purses would remain closed!

    I don’t think every line is scripted, by any means, but I also do not think any of the ad-libs really matter in any way; at the end of the day the whip says vote for this (or you will lose the committee seat at the heart of your big donations, your party support in your reelection, etc) and virtually everybody votes as told. For the “just for show” bills, vote however you want, the more headlines we get the better. The whip will let you know when it really matters.

  26. Darren Smith and MikeS,

    Just a small reminder that MikeS says there is not an inner group here.
    Darren could have emailed MikeS, but chooses to show us his inner group status by using this forum.
    Hypocrisy, thy numbers are legion. Pathetic.

    What other brags will Darren come with next. He has done many before with no challenge from me, but this flys so openly in the face of declarations from the in-group.

    We have freedom of association, but “bragging” your connections undet the guise of using this as a private channel is kinda gauche.
    And a obvious case of nose-thumbing.
    I wish we could see less of this here. Always the idealist, am I.

    Jealous, nope. Nor sour grapes. Any such hopes have long disappeared. Just tired of BS from the holier than thou, and I mean Darren in this case. MikeS gave his view on the innergroup question, although I did question its reality. But he did not, viewing the posts here, contribute to this action by Darren.

    Belonging is great. MikeS knows from school how it was to have to fight for the first of the 3 B’s—-Being. Then comes belonging. Great too. He did well there. But as he himself notes, the morés of the group may not always internalize well, and become yours.

    Glad jul till er både.

  27. Mike thank you.

    As to all the Dems including the President who insist on using right wing corporate terms in every debate thus setting themselves up for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I am sick of it. There is no fiscal cliff. It is just another scare tactic so that: huge cuts can be made to social security; the banks can continue to get free money from the FED while the rest of us have to pay the banks to keep our money in checking accounts; fund managers and billionaires will be able to pay less rate wise if not in real dollars than the rest of us and corporations will be able to avoid taxation altogether while exporting jobs overseas. Fear allows all of this to be pushed forward with our President’s acquiescence and the silence of the Democrats.

  28. Tony, good stab at trying to grope your way toward talking about this wholly owned corporation known as the US political system/government. Just how well organized this shadowy conglomeration is (can’t say conspiracy b/c then you’re a conspiracy nut; but the truth of the confluence of like-minded forces may be more frightening than an actual conspiracy) it’s hard to tell.

    Fact is, so many of us smell it and observe it’s machinations that to argue against it’s existence may be the less sane path. And, after all, what’s the most reasonable alternative explanation: that the actors are the stupidest, most craven bunch that wouldn’t know an ethical impulse, if it smacked them in the face?

    I suppose it’s more than likely that everyone isn’t in the know on the big plan. How could they be? But everyone is compromised just enough to hold the whole charade together; and as we go up the line of power there is a self regulating mechanism, based on greed, power and money that insures a symbiotic functioning.

    It’s terribly frustrating to honest critics of the system to find a way to debunk the system and yet take it seriously enough to gain some legitimacy and not totally be marginalized. The PTB count on that marginalization; and keeping the public satiated with fast food and flat screens fits right in. There is little problem defusing actual anger that might arise because the beauty part, as they say, is that the system is designed to take the ridicule and keep on ticking — it’s a crummy system — one side’s as bad as the other, alternately == but it’s ours and its the best in the world. Whatcha gonna do, eh?

  29. Mass action, even passíve resistance much less civil disobedience leads to massive reaction. That is already on the lawbooks, in the hands of the President, and planned, equipped and rehearsed throughout this nation.

    But if the action spreads and increases rapidly in spite of repression, then at least we will go down in history, but the victors will deny our existence so small comfort. That is what the people of Egypt have already faced.
    To revolt, or to die by starvation while Antoinette eats cake and frolics—-the equivalent of our rich.

    And our conglomerate is however very skilled at decreasing our numbers and margins of life capability while propagandizing with illusions and shock trauma, just so that we won’t launch a mass action.

    i say organize as Saul Alinsky taught, and start digging away at their foundations locally. It is easier to give a city a bad media rep, which they fear, than the national charade which goes on over our heads, like a poor puppet show a la Pirandelli. Can’t you just see Obama playing golf with Boehner (sp?).

  30. Looks like Elaine’s boy of orange is not gong to pull it off….. But hey….. The American public is more important than pirate economics……

    Michael….. Good article…..

  31. Millions For Defense, But Not One Cent in Tribute!
    A good phrase and battle cry from the past when we were dealing with Tripoli pirates. So, why today do we give billions to Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan, et al? If we are broke then end the tributes now.

    Push Egypt off the fiscal cliff. The new elected dictator doesnt give a rats arse about the rights of Coptic Christians or others.

  32. Paul
    1, December 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm
    To those who do the name calling (tea baggers), I ask why? Do you think yourselves smarter?



  33. Blouise,

    Don’t confuse the stupid teabagger people with facts. It’s their right to be as ignorant and ill-informed as they like just like it is our right to make fun of them for it. Oh. Wait. Nevermind.:mrgreen:

  34. Blouise,
    You should give a warning before you do that. Now I have to clean my keyboard.

    You win the Internets tonight.

  35. Can’t you just see Obama playing golf with Boehner (sp?).

    can’t see that it would make much difference driving off the tee, but it might make putting difficult.

  36. Politicians began instituting temporary tax cuts with the intention of later transforming them into permanent law in the 1990s. According to a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities report, this practice exploded during the George W. Bush administration and was accompanied by budget gimmickry to hide their affect on the federal deficit.”

    This paints a false picture of the ten-years term limit of the Bush tax cuts. The tax package was not intentionally term limited and the limitation was not imposed for the purpose of hiding the effect on the deficit. There were not enough votes in the Senate to pass the tax package, so it was passed under a process known as “budget reconciliation,” which requires a simple majority vote. That process can only be used for revenue bills, and any bill pasased using the process can last for only ten years.

  37. Tony,

    I’m taking a wait and see position if the TRepublicans will vote the way they are told. I’m thinking we have a new dynamic due to the strength of the gerrymandered districts. Those reps don’t need the party and their “establishment” campaign funds any more. They have their own hard right funding machines. They can do what they want and continue to be re-elected for at least the next ten years. They are essentially “warlords” now and just as dangerous.

  38. Bill H is well-informed.
    And Working Man is very astute.
    They had to gerrymander a district to get HW Bush a rep seat.
    As a freshman, he was entitled to zilch. In fact he was the first freshman congressman to go direct to Way and Means. Source: Russ Baker ibid.

  39. “Politicians began instituting temporary tax cuts with the intention of later transforming them into permanent law in the 1990s”

    “There were not enough votes in the Senate to pass the tax package, so it was passed under a process known as “budget reconciliation,” which requires a simple majority vote.”

    Bill H.,

    Your response to the first quote does not negate or disprove it. The intent was there, since the proponents of the tax cut didn’t have the votes at the time they used reconciliation, with its ten year limit, to get it passed. The intent was there, it is just that the process called for a longer range plan.


  40. “I think politics has become pretty much a “wag the dog” operation, in the sense that what is going to be done is already decided by the people with the power to decide”

    “As to all the Dems including the President who insist on using right wing corporate terms in every debate thus setting themselves up for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, I am sick of it.”

    “Just how well organized this shadowy conglomeration is (can’t say conspiracy b/c then you’re a conspiracy nut; but the truth of the confluence of like-minded forces may be more frightening than an actual conspiracy) it’s hard to tell.”

    Tony C., Justice Holmed and DonS,

    Combining your three quotes above paints what to me is the correct picture of what is happening here, I think it is less a full blown conspiracy, than it is the merging of interests of affinity groups. While there is no doubt some element of conspiracy involved we must remember that the people at the top hang out together in a rarefied atmosphere of wealth that the rest of us can only imagine. I visited friends recently in a completely upscale gated community. They mentioned many celebrities from sports and business who lived there and showed us a magnificent Country Clubhouse and the adjoining fitness center and both took my breath away with their beauty and their accouterments. On our way home that night my wife pointed out to me that within this gated community there was one section that itself was gated, presumably where the “best” homes are located. That is a metaphor to me about the “Elite” that rules over us. They hang out together in an isolation from the mere peasants and that “splendid isolation” that separates the Billionaires from even the millionaires. Being so wealthy means your actions cause ripples throughout society and it is from these ripples that policy is created that affects us all. I don’t think it is a full blown conspiracy, not because it would be impossible, but because I don’t think those in the “Elite” are all that perceptive to plot it out. They are in my opinion driven more by the basic drives towards lust and power. Each member of this “Elite” sees themselves as “Top Dog” and in the interstice of this ego-driven madness there is lack of homogeneity and perhaps a small opportunity.

    “i say organize as Saul Alinsky taught, and start digging away at their foundations locally.”


    This indeed is our only option and opportunity to gain some measure of relief from the :Elites” ruling power.

  41. Per Mike S’ thought: Since Mark E’s new post puts me in a quasi religious/esoteric frame of mind, we could say that the elites represent the quintessential secular equivalent of an esotericism devoted to material acquisition and secular power. Circles within circles to which you gain admission via unwritten rules, connections and practice.

    And if it comes to that, I’m sure the likes of of ID7070 will be on the barricades. But what of the young who seem not to care much, having internalized the message that the government is useless. At least that’s what I hear from the young folks I know, sadly the smart educated ones, that, for example, they don’t expect Social Security to be there when they would need it. I ‘m sure there is a faction of younger folks, 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, who are no so convinced but, on the whole, I observe that the chilling effect of the Raegan years, and all that has happened since, has taken it’s toll. Heckuva job.

  42. “To those who do the name calling (tea baggers), I ask why? Do you think yourselves smarter?”

    Smarter than teabaggers? Hell yes. Most 5th graders have accomplished that.

  43. “Your response to the first quote does not negate or disprove it.”

    Oh, come on, Mike. I was there. objecting to the tax cuts every step of the way. The bill as passed in the House had no time limit, and as it was originally presented in the Senate had no time limit either. The time limit was added by the reconciliation process, and the bill was then negotiated in committee. It was not certain that House Republicans were going to agree to the time limit, because they wanted it to be permanent.

    The trend now is to present evgerything in ten-year numbers to exaggerate the effect on the budget in today’s climate of deficir reduction and “balancing the budget” and the dishonesty of that is immense. We only budget for one year at a time, since the 111th Congress can not tell the 112th Congress whgat to do. The idea that these ten-year deals have the slightest trace of validity is absurd, and Democrats engage in this dishonesty as massively as Republicans do.

  44. Further, the ostensible reason for the Bush tax cuts was to prevent massive tax revenue surpluses, which were projected at the time due to the Clinton tax increases.

  45. “The idea that these ten-year deals have the slightest trace of validity is absurd, and Democrats engage in this dishonesty as massively as Republicans do.”


    Please re-read what I wrote and you might see that on this we agree much more than we disagree.

  46. Bill H,
    To “prevent massive tax revenue surpluses” was the reason for the tax cuts.??!! You are living in a fantasy world if you believe that. The tax cuts was welfare for the wealthy just as the restriction on Medicare to be able to negotiate its own prescription medicine rates was welfare for the pharmaceutical companies.

  47. As usual I enjoyed the use of others perceptions and my own clap I received by and from MikeS.

    Want to say a couple of lines more though.

    The impossibility of there being a conspiracy is a consequence of the impossibility of getting billionaires to cooperate and subordinate their own interests. They want to have the hole card of their own staff looking out for THEIR businesses. Branches come and go, but money must still reign, so even in allied companies the knives are sharpened. A conspiracy would be more monolithic, powerful but too obvious and SLOW.
    For unreined consequences see: Oryx and Crake.

    Dredd’s comment containing info on the international forum of 148 “holding companies” is still valid in its way. We don’t (yet) rule the world, but we are getting closer. So call it the current fruit of corporate cooperation. Behind the control of many governments and the devolving of state powers to the corporations through trade pacts, see TPP.

    Why has money not abandoned America? Cause we have the strongest military levers to push other nations with.

    The possibility exists that the FINANCIAL elite don’t need gated communities of the most luxurious kind. They have each, their own set of castles around the world solely for enjoyment, not leverage access.
    It could be they who are the true top dogs. The turnover of hundreds of trillions per year off the market trading would indicate that a very thin skim would yield a lot of cream and power.

    Any idea what the Fed is charging us per year for the money they print and loan us?

  48. @Working Man: I don’t think gerrymandering does the job, the politician is still after campaign donations, and still beholden to the rich, and if they lose their committee seat and do not get another, the contributions dry up. Do not think the rich will hesitate (especially in light of recent successes) to primary a politician that doesn’t tug on the party rope (with his votes).

    I doubt there is a new dynamic, I suspect what we see is the old dynamic, the rich taking everything they can get. In the end, the money from the rich always has strings, and the amounts depend on what power you have. A vote on a committee gives somebody power. The House and Senate are about dividing up the power and opportunities for corruption and campaign cash, which is not very far removed from cash in the pocket of the politician, and can literally be converted to that with a short legal dance (if you watch Stephen Colbert, he has detailed the process just fine.)

    It is like the Mafia Dons having a sit-down to decide who gets the numbers, who does the protection, who gets prostitution, who runs the airport, etc.

  49. A cynical=realist after my own taste. The more the greater numbers we can educate. Where is Carlin’s replacement. Colbert and Stewart, anything there? Any poll changes.as result of their work?

    Somenone (Tony C , DonS) painted a black picture of youth indifference. That someone ascribed it; i believe, to their capability to see through the BS and false process that democracy is here. Or they are full up of their lives, and believed in the fantastic crap they are offered for entertainment.

    When were youth more engaged than now. Did it give anything but busted heads in Chicago in ’68 in the park below the leading dem McCarthy’s hotel before he got the knife from Humphrey.

    Why look so far back? .Because in nearer years the noise and fog of battle makes it harder. And the dynamics have not basically changed. We still have two Potemkin party facades, with the same rottenness and corruption

  50. Idealist wrote:
    Darren Smith and MikeS,

    Just a small reminder that MikeS says there is not an inner group here.
    Darren could have emailed MikeS, but chooses to show us his inner group status by using this forum.
    Hypocrisy, thy numbers are legion. Pathetic.

    What other brags will Darren come with next. He has done many before with no challenge from me, but this flys so openly in the face of declarations from the in-group.

    We have freedom of association, but “bragging” your connections undet the guise of using this as a private channel is kinda gauche

    Idealist. You are uninformed about what was going on and your importing your conspiracy theory of me being part of some inner cabal of this group shows some clear lack of reason. While it is not your business about how or what I choose to contact other people with. But you seem to have a different perception of the events here so I thought I would educate you.

    I had read in previous threads that Mike S. was having trouble with his keyboard. I have never talked with him and my only communication has been through this forum. I did not have his e-mail address and I was not certain of what his Postal mailing address was.

    I thought I would send him a bit of thanks for his contributions to this blog, so I mailed to him a nice keyboard to replace the defective one he was using. I did it because I admire him and I deeply respect his contributions to this weblog. And I thought it would make it easier for him to write his words.

    When I checked online to see if the package was delivered, the post office’s website said that delivery was not made because there was not a responsible person available to sign for it. Not knowing if I had the correct address for him and not having his e-mail address, I mentioned in one of my posts about the notice the post office carrier left for him so that the package wouldn’t be lost in the shuffle or if he was out of town and could not receive it. In other words I wanted to make sure he got what I had sent him. This was the only way I could communicate with him at the time. There was no grandstanding involved as you suggest. It was simply to make sure that he received a package.

    You can continue to harp on me all you want about my supposed holier than thou attitude, but I would suggest at least having the presence of mind to not jump to any more ridiculous conclusions based upon your own false assumptions.

  51. ID707

    What Darren said above is indeed true, though he makes less of his generosity of spirit than it was. I hesitated to thank him personally just because there are those here, like you, who do suspect there is a “cabal” taking place beneath the surface. Darren and I had no contact offline prior to this. As to how he contacted me isn’t it obvious? I’m a real person and has made no secret about my home State. In this era where information is so easily unobtainable, I’ve always made a point that by using my own name, what I write is what I believe. I believe it adds to my credibility, but please don’t assume that it adds to my peace of mind. In fact I’ll share with you the “back story” of my receipt of Darren’s generous gift.

    The beginning starts almost three years ago on this blog. Someone with whom I disagreed with began to say that they were cyber stalking me to the point where they were going to attack my computer. I was in contact offline with certain regulars who were computer adept, among them Slartbartfast. They assisted me in securing my computer from attack. I write this to show that I am not unaware that the use of my real name can be problematic and as everyone whose read me knows I am by nature slightly paranoid, or street smart as some say.

    My wife and I were out on Friday afternoon and when we came home I found the attempted delivery notice stuck in my front door. It indicated that a “parcel” had been sent and I could either have it redelivered, or pick it up at my local post office. It had been shipped by a “D. Smith”. The problem was that neither my wife or I personally knew anyone with the last name of Smith. The only Smith I knew was Darren from the blog and we had never communicated offline, so I couldn’t understand why he would be sending me anything and immediately discounted that it could be from him. Given that I ruled Darren out I must admit that at the back of my mind there was some nervousness, but I left it there. That evening, as we were watching a “real crime” documentary show on TV, the package came to mind again. I also am somewhat of a Mystery Buff and I began playing scenarios in my mind as to what could be in the package, which ranged from bombs, to anthrax, to planted drugs. I put the TV on hold and shared my feelings with my wife no doubt making her paranoid as well. I decided to pick up the parcel the next day at the P.O., with my wife along. My idea was that if someone had tried to set me up for drugs and I was arrested in some DEA scheme, my wife would witness it and also have access to our only car, to be able to set my defense in motion. So when I handed the notice in for retrieval the next day, I was somewhat nervous.

    When the P.O. Clerk brought out the package I saw an oblong, thin Amazon box and then Darren Smith on the shipping label, my tension was gone. What we know of Darren from the blog is a gentlemanly person, with deep knowledge and integrity, who avoids the rough and tumble of some other bloggers. And yes ID707, he is one of our regulars who I am drawn to because whether we agree or not on a given issue, he always discusses it civilly and thoughtfully. Nevertheless, I followed my plan and opened it cautiously in the P.O. and inside was not only an excellent keyboard (which I’m now typing on) but an explanatory note whose graciousness choked me up. When I returned home I sent Darren an “E” Mail thanking him as profusely as I could for his gift. We then went out again for the day and I didn’t see your suspicious comment until later that evening and at that time decided not to respond. Well given Darren’s comment you can consider this my response.

    I certainly don’t solicit gifts from readers, but in truth Darren’s gift makes my Guest Blogging life much easier. While I can’t complain about my life financially, we do live on a fixed income without much room for non-essentials. Then too one of the things those close to me have noticed through the years is that while generous to my family to a fault, I am loath to spend money on myself. I grew up in a family that had little room for the so-called finer things in life and I would actually only get one present a year, on my birthday and I would have to pick it out myself, with the knowledge that I shouldn’t ask for anything too expensive. The child becomes the man and that is who I am. I will lavish my wife, kids and grandkids with gifts, but I am parsimonious when it come to me. My computer is seven years old, a top of the line model I admit purchased with the proceeds from the sale of my house. I’ve had to get a new keyboard three times so far because I am a heavy typist. That comes from the fact that my handwriting is so bad my parents had to buy me a cheap portable typewriter for my schoolwork when I was 13 as a Bar Mitzvah present.. It required a lot of key pressure and so that is how I learned to type and the habit stays with me 55 years later. My computer is serviceable and I frankly won’t replace it until it finally stops, so Darren’s gift has precluded me from having to even consider the expense.

    So now you have the mystery cleared up. I am very grateful to Darren for his gift, it makes my writing life so much easier. I am not soliciting, nor do I request anything from anybody, there are billions of far more needy people in this world. That does not diminish his generosity. My life history also I think proves that I am not susceptible to bribery nor blandishments. I can assure you that if I could be bought I would be a wealthy man today, because I have had many generous offers to sell out my integrity in my long life and have never done so, often to my immediate detriment. If I could name one quality, some might say fault, that sets me apart from those writing on the internet is my personal honesty and openness. The truth behind it might surprise. I’ve led a very blessed (lucky) life in that I’ve had to face various dangers and I’ve always muddled though despite the odds. My spiritual sense, such as it is, is that my honesty serves as some sort of cosmic protection for me along with my belief in the “golden rule”. Call it Karma. So far it’s worked so I’m loath to change..

    I take the time to write this so that once again I can answer your charges with honesty and truth. I have no idea if this will satisfy you, or not, but if it can’t than your satisfaction is beyond my power. I get tired with the charges that some here like to lodge about this blog being a “closed shop”. It never has been and the evidence is in current regulars like Darren and yourself and too many others to name. Do we guest bloggers have an affinity for each other, of course, but while there are sharp political differences between us, we all share a common bond with Jonathan Turley in that we all are dedicated to the Constitution and to Civil Liberties.

    One last thing that I might note to those who would think to use my honesty against me and seek to frighten me with threats, given the feelings I’ve shared above. I am quite a resourceful individual and a very tough one at that. I’ve faced death, as few people have and have gone beyond the fear of it. People might be able to scare me temporarily, but I’m certainly not someone anyone with common sense would want to attack, in any context beyond words.

  52. I’m a real person and has made no secret about my home State. In this era where information is so easily “obtainable”

  53. Mike and Darren,

    I was genuinely touched … in fact, on this day while I am loading the presents purchased for family into the car, I stop for a moment to think of the two of you and smile. A thoughtful gift sent and a serendipitous moment for the recipient in the midst of a busy post office.

    Gentlemen, you have made my week and I thank both of you for that gift.

  54. Mike S.,

    “What we know of Darren from the blog is a gentlemanly person, with deep knowledge and integrity, who avoids the rough and tumble of some other bloggers. And yes ID707, he is one of our regulars who I am drawn to because whether we agree or not on a given issue, he always discusses it civilly and thoughtfully.”


    I agree with what you wrote about Darren. His comments are thoughtful and civil. He is a welcome voice on this blog.

  55. I think you don’t understand the issues here. We borrow about 50% of what we spend right now. If we hit the fiscal cliff we will basically be forced to balance the budget. The way the law stands now that will be with a mix of spending cuts and tax hikes.

    This will be a significant change in our economy very quickly. You may want to tax the rich more or cut SS more or whatever, but regardless of your politics this will be a big change done quickly. It’s silly to pretend otherwise.

  56. According to retail reports issued today, the 2012 holiday season may have been the worst for retailers since the 2008 financial crisis, with sales growth far below expectations, forcing many to offer massive post-Christmas discounts in hopes of shedding excess inventory.

    But don’t worry, it’s all just an illusion. The fiscal cliff and the uncertainties that it has created and which I’ve previously discussed on this leftist blog are just something that some foolhardy economists, business analysts, and nonleftists have warned about. What do they know? Pay no attention to them. Listen to leftists. They know what’s good for America and Americans. There is no fiscal cliff to worry about. Bring on the higher taxes on the middle class. That will dramatically boost sales and push the USA into a path of prosperity. The leftists say so, so it must be true!

  57. Thank you so much for saying what is on so many of our minds. I am here because I am getting sick of this obvious blame shift from bad regulation and unchecked, undisguised corporate greed, into one of all our fiscal problems are the result of Obama’s decision to stop giving breaks to the wealthiest individuals in the country.

    I am so sick of hearing “fiscal Cliff” on television, radio, and internet all day.

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