Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Just A Bump In The Road

So we barely teetered on the brink of the fiscal "cliff".
Technically, we went over it, but as with all things Washington, we never really went over it until we hit bottom which we were not in danger of doing for at least a few weeks, if not a few months.
I sort of figured it would end up this way: rather than vote to raise taxes on the wealthy, the Republicans took a cheat. They allowed taxes to go up on all of us, then turned right around and voted to lower taxes on the middle class and those making up to $400K a year.
This means they can keep blowing Grover Norquist AND "save our economy," because in two years, what yahoo in Alabama is going to remember that taxes actually went up?
Is it perfect? No. Everyone will find some fault with it. I'm not convinced it's even the best deal we could squeeze out of the Republican caucus, but I'm not running the negotiations, Joe Biden is. The real battle is when the newly-delayed sequestration bill is taken up, sometime before March. Those automatic cuts will be painful but less so than the posturing that will happen between now and then.
Still, the Pentagon could do yeoman's work here and start politely refusing money being thrown at them like beads on Mardi Gras. Rumour has it that they've already determined where they could take their budget below $1 trillion and still more than adequately defend the country.
Of course, they'd still outspend the next twenty or so militaries combined, but only by a factor of 1.2 times or thereabouts.
Still, the ludicrous battle over the "cliff" have all but ended and one can hope we'll take up the serious discussions of fixing what's actually broken in this country now.