Fiscal Cliff Follies
Rules haven't seemed to matter much in Washington lately. So why do people believe that the measures of the fiscal cliff will be adhered to and suddenly implemented? What makes people think that automatic triggers will kick in this time? Doing the uncomfortable thing in Washington is rare.
Is there truly some magic police that shows up and say, "Ok. That's it. We are going to implement all these stringent measures." Not likely.
What is probable is that the trend away from the rule book in Washington will continue.
That hard and fast deadline will suddenly become an alterable inconvenience. We have seen a not so gradual divergence from business guided by rules and law to business being conducted in the fashion that is most politically comfortable. Rules are so passé and the neglect is well documented.
Elected representatives who swear by oath to uphold the Constitution, trample it daily.
They encourage illegal immigration by sponsoring sanctuary cities and chastising border states that attempt to enforce federal law when federal authorities appear to have little interest in doing so.
The Federal Reserve gobbles up the fresh debt issued by the Treasury of the same governmental body. Peter meet Paul.
Massive legislation is passed, unread. Other legislation leaves those who passed the bills immune to the effects. Waivers for friends are issued.
Agencies are funded outside of the power of the House of Representatives, which by law controls the purse strings of the country. (Consumer Protection under the Federal Reserve)
Regulatory agencies legislate via rules and red tape, outside of Congressional review.
Polling violations are not enforced when certain parties do the violating.
Segments of passed legislation are waived by Executive decree. (Partial amnesty)
Recess appointments are made by the Executive when there is no technical recess.
The military is dispatched by the Executive to act against another country when there is no direct threat to the United States. Consultation with Congress is required, not mere "notification". Details details.
Investigations into the Department of Justice and the State Department yield paltry and incomplete results.
People are issued disability payments when they are not even checked for compliance with the definition of actually being disabled.
And we expect the harsh measures of the fiscal cliff to be implemented? Come on. Who will enforce any uncomfortable measure in Washington? Who will enforce now when so much has transpired "unenforced"? Which authoritative body will arise in this matter? In all likelihood, the can, the oil drum, will be kicked down the road. And the net result will be that the real spending of this government, net to revenues, will proceed unrestrained and untethered to fiscal realities.
In the unlikely event the Fiscal Cliff is engaged, it will be for one reason. Those in power desire it to be engaged. And that is a very bothersome thought.