Tag Archives: fiscal cliff

The Creeping Crises


“A difficult or dangerous situation that needs serious attention.”
Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of crisis

Crisis is a term not to be used lightly.

There are more crises confronting the country than there have been in decades. Far from hyperbole, “crisis” fits like a glove on the resurgence of COVID-19, the humanitarian debacle at our southern border, and the record number of homicides on our streets, too many of which have put teenagers and small children in the bullseye. We’ve had record floods, record fires, record heat, record drought, all crises when you consider the number of related deaths, lives and property destroyed, and damage to the environment.

But there are several other crises that are in urgent need of serious attention because their consequences can be just as devastating to millions. They’re insidious, not the kind that bring eyeballs and clicks to news stories. They creep up slowly and are dismissed because no one knows how to fix them.

A perfect example is the Federal budget, over which Congress and the President are engaging in age-old partisan one-upmanship. We haven’t adopted a legitimate Federal budget in decades.

Budgets are gargantuan political and fiscal monstrosities that reach into every aspect of American life. They’re like the Titanic. If not designed, built, and steered with the skill of a seasoned seafarer, they will sink functional fiscal policy. Continue reading

A Battle Worth Fighting

Reprinted from Mullings.com

Hey, here’s a scoop! I was wrong about when the shutdown would end. I thought it would be last Thursday.

My new prediction is: Never.

As I think I’ve made pretty clear, I thought – and still think – that tying the shutdown to repealing or delaying ObamaCare was a bad idea. That doesn’t mean I think ObamaCare is a good idea; I do not. But, the GOP’s mantra, if you will remember, was “Repeal and Replace.”

Republicans in the House and Senate cannot repeal, and they have not offered a replacement.

But, that was last week’s news. This week’s news is we are about 10 days from the financial world coming to an end – again – this time because we are about to bump our national fiscal head on the debt ceiling.

Continue reading


Reprinted from Mullings.com

The latest projectile-sweat-producing event in our nation’s capital is the looming automatic cuts in the federal budget known as “sequestration.”

Sequestration is not a word we get to use every day in a sentence, most of us, but it is fun to say because we get to use the tip and the back of our tongues to say it.

According to Webster’s, sequestration is a 14th century word from the Latin sequesrare – to hand over to a trustee or some other third party. Today it is an Continue reading

Boys Acting Badly

Reprinted from Mullings.com

In one of those stories that, in the end, has all the policy implications of a White Sale at Macy’s, it seems that conservative radio talk show host Alex Jones appeared on the television talk show of British transplant Piers Morgan on Monday night.

The topic was Jones’ leading the petition to have Morgan deported because of Morgan’s heavy hand on the topic of gun control. Continue reading

Fiscal Cliff Tragedy/Comedy Part II


“Do you ever get the feeling that the whole world is a tuxedo and you are a pair of brown shoes?”

That was comedian George Gobel’s quip after he was upstaged during  a 1969 Johnny Carson Show by the unscheduled appearances of Dean Martin and Bob Hope.

Forty years later the whole country is a tuxedo and Washington is a pair of brown shoes–out of step, out of fashion, out of vogue and out of touch with the realities of governing the country. Continue reading

Greatest ‘Punt’ in History

Reprinted from Telemachus.com

No, it wasn’t the 79-yard punt by Duke punter Will Monday in the 2012 Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina, although that was pretty darned great, you gotta admit.

No, the greatest ‘punt’ of the recent college bowl season was performed collectively in a three-legged kick down the road by President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Speaker John Boehner on New Year’s Eve in Washington, D.C. in the Fiscal Cliff Bowl Sponsored by The AARP, Grover Norquist, and The American People. Continue reading


Reprinted from Mullings.com

New Year’s Day 2013. Football games? No. Parades? No. Hangover cure? No.

I spent the entire day watching the Chasing Classic Cars marathon on USA as background noise while focused on Twitter following the U.S. House Republicans wringing their hands over what to do about the Senate-passed bill to crawl back up the fiscal cliff.

Without getting into the weeds about things like (according to CNN.com) extending the excise tax carry-over on rum produced in Puerto Rico and the Continue reading

Top 1% Pay Their Fair Share?

Reprinted from Telemachus.com

Support the move to replace our corporate and personal income tax code with a national consumption-based tax.


Because it will be far simpler than the current sclerotic byzantine income-based tax structure that has been in place since 1913. It will return the United States to the preferred tax revenue-generation method favored by our Founders who thought a tax on someone’s income could be capricious and ruinous to a person’s freedom and productivity.

They were right on the ‘capricious’ part. Continue reading

What’s the Mayan Word for “Cliff”?

Reprinted from Mullings.com

Boy, I’m good. I finished Wednesday’s column with: “Plan B might not pass, but Plan C or D, or Q will find its way to the floors of the two Chambers before December 31 and will pass.”

Plan B is not going to pass as last night the House Republican Conference…


You might have noticed over the past 14 years that I refer to the assemblage of the GOP in the House and Senate as the “Republican Conference” and the Democrats as the “Democratic Caucus.” That’s what they call themselves. Continue reading

Plan B

Reprinted from Mullings.com

We’re now within 10 legislative days ’til the Fiscal Cliff – assuming the Members won’t be decking the Halls of Congress with boughs of holly on Christmas Eve and Day.

There is movement in the positions coming from either end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The President campaigned successfully on the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy – with the wealthy being defined as any family earning $250,000 or more annually. Continue reading

Holding Middle-Class Tax Cuts Hostage

Reprinted from Telemachus.com

Which one is better..or worse? To which guilty party can these words be assigned, Your Honor?

We are always surprised, although we shouldn’t be, when we see the media attack the GOP in Congress for ‘holding the middle-class hostage to getting tax cuts extended for the wealthy (‘fat-cat, dishonest, conniving, Scrooge-like white rich) guys’. (That is the intimation, isn’t it? Tell the truth.)

Why is it taken as the Gospel Truth that the current impasse is solely the fault of the Republican Party in charge of the House of Representatives in Congress? Continue reading

Offer, Counter-Offer

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

Republicans went all crazy yesterday and countered the White House with a fiscal cliff proposal that was first dreamed up by that crazy right-winger Erskine Bowles.

Bowles, who used to toil in the trenches as Bill Clinton’s Chief of Staff and who once ran for office in North Carolina as a Democrat, has obviously been seduced by that other right-wing kook, Alan Simpson. How dare Bowles, the closing days of the Super Committee, offer something so radical as to include $800 billion in revenues and about double that in spending cuts. Continue reading

Better Storm Drains for All

Reprinted from Mullings.com

It is now likely that a deal will not be reached between now and December 31 to avoid the fiscal cliff. Before you become an economic prepper and start stocking up on canned goods and extra Tequila, remember I also thought Mitt Romney would win the election.

If we do tumble over, the automatic sequester – spending cuts – kick in and everyone is looking for the worst-case scenario of what services will be lost to old folks, young folks, sick folks, and all the other folks in the United States. Continue reading

Soak the Rich

Reprinted from TheFeeheryTheory.com

My friend, the smart Senate staffer, sent me this missive this morning. I thought I would share it with you:

“There is clearly a Democratic obsession with taxing the rich. Let’s go through a little fiscal arithmetic and take the Democrats’ tax increase obsession out to its logical conclusion.

From a purely political power acquisition perspective, it makes all the sense in the world. It’s been a constant theme of Democrats for many years. Not all, but most, tell the American people that all of our fiscal problems can be Continue reading


Reprinted from Mullings.com

With the Redskins playing the Monday night game and the Nationals still not having made a deal with their 1st baseman, Adam LaRoche, there’s not much to think about here in Our Nation’s Capital other than that pesky fiscal cliff.

Depending on what comes up in your Google search for “what will be the effect on GDP of the fiscal cliff” you get answers ranging from a drop of about 1.4 percent (NASDAQ) up to four percent (Washington Post).

Most of the guesses fall in the 3-3.5 percent range. Continue reading

The Pledge

Reprinted from Mullings.com

Much was made over the weekend about cracks in Grover Norquist’s “No Tax Pledge” by Rep. Peter King and Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

Before we go on, we all know there IS such a thing as the “No Tax Pledge,” but until last night as I was writing this, I had never actually read it.

Here is the operational section of the pledge as signed by hundreds of candidates for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate: I pledge that I will… Continue reading

Blue Mountains and Budget Cliffs


WINTERGREEN, VA (Oct. 7, 2012)—The Blue Ridge Mountains are spectacular, even on a cold, overcast gray day in October. The leaves are turning color and the tranquility is sedating. Crisp 40-degree temperatures sharpen the senses, but still beckon you outdoors for slow walks and casual conversations.

Congressman Paul Ryan is here, preparing for his debate later in the week with the Vice President, jovial Joe Biden, the man who always says just a little more than he should. Continue reading

The Gathering Fiscal Storm


We have written about the fiscal cliff and its possible economic consequences several times in recent months.  Other organizations have been more sanguine about the impact of the expiring tax cuts and large federal spending reductions that are set to occur at the beginning of January 2013.

A few days ago, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its latest assessment of the fiscal cliff and the analysis bolsters our argument: Going over the cliff inevitably leads to a serious recession.

Continue reading