The Dark Side of the Cliff
All of the media hype leading up to the "fiscal cliff" deadline reminds me a bit of the doom and gloom surrounding the Y2K bug back in 1999. I spent my final hours of the millennium at a fairly large New Years Eve party in the South Bay Area. Being a bit of a prankster, I decided to help dispel one of the Y2K myths in a simple way that was guaranteed to get peoples' attention. Nearly everyone was watching the TV as Dick Clark was counting down the final seconds of the twentieth century. I snuck outside and ran over to the main electrical panel and at the exact moment of Y2K, threw the main breaker shutting down power to the entire house. You could have heard a pin drop but for a few gasps.
Once the power was restored it was time to face reality -- Armageddon hadn't struck and almost all of the hype leading up to the event was just that -- hype.
Similarly, if no deal is struck and we go over this so-called "fiscal cliff" we'll wake up fully intact on 1/1/2013 but will also be faced with a new reality. Americans will realize that it wasn't the real cliff at all, but they will still need to face the reality that paychecks will be smaller and life will get much tougher once the economy worsens as a result of ObamaCare and the new tax rate increases. But who is to blame for all of this?
After reconvening in 2013, Republicans should throw the switch and shut down power to the narratives of Obama and the Democrats by holding a press conference on Jan 8th. They should begin the presser by asking a few simple questions to really get America's attention. Here are a few possibilities:
• Why did President Obama and Democrats hold the middle class hostage over a tax increase on the "rich" (the job creators) when, if implemented, would have only raised enough revenue to run the federal government up until today -- just eight short days into the New Year?
• If Democrats were truly serious about getting the national debt under control and creating a sustainable future for Americans, what plans did they have for getting us beyond these eight days in a fiscally responsible manner if they had gotten their wish of increased tax rates on only the rich?
• What are the Democrat's plans to deal with the fact that there still won't be enough money to fully pay for this enormous federal government; even with the now higher tax rates on both the middle class and "rich" combined?
• It's good to see that Democrats now agree with Republicans that the middle class tax rates should have stayed at the levels signed by Bush in 2001 and 2003, giving individuals and families more than a decade of tax relief. But why did Democrats overwhelmingly oppose those tax cuts at the time they were first implemented by George Bush and the Republicans?
• Why did President Obama claim that ObamaCare would not raise taxes on those earning less than $250,000 when this is a provable lie? Or is it just that Obama did not fully understand what he signed into law?
• Since taxing the rich at 100% would yield no where near enough revenue to pay for the current size of the federal government and because no real cuts were implemented (just reductions in the rate of growth) other than for the military (putting the country -- not to mention our children -- more at risk), what are the Democrat's plans to gain control of Washington's spending problem that will eventually send us over the real fiscal cliff -- the debt cliff?
• Why should we take President Obama seriously when his last proposed budget received zero votes from the House and Senate showing that his own party doesn't even take his proposals seriously?
• Do Democrats even understand or take seriously the enormity of our problems?
• Are you as Americans ready for another four years of fiscal pain and increased debt or are you finally ready for a Republican plan, a serious plan which uses sound economic principals that will actually allow the creation of jobs, grow the economy and finally begin to gain control over this enormous debt?
The Republicans should then post an easy to understand plan online that would provide a blueprint to prosperity. Examples of past successes using the same proven economic principals could be given. Rebuttals to Democrat talking points should be posted in a timely fashion.
Communicating to the American people in this manner should be as easy as throwing a switch, but given the Republican Party's history of poor communication, I'm sure we'll just be left waiting in the dark.
Scott blogs at http://www.politiseeds.com/