America will go over the fiscal cliff. Putative President Barack Hussein Obama decided that yesterday. He sent out a (literally) ridiculous plan that would be worse even than the “sequester.” This, after he shot back to Mitt Romney that “it won’t happen.” If Republicans have any courage at all, they will walk away from this. Let the “sequester” play out. In fact, in moral terms they may do nothing else.
The Obama Fiscal Cliff Plan
As everyone might remember, the “fiscal cliff,” or the “great sequester,” means $500 billion in tax increases and $110 billion in spending cuts. Those spending cuts would happen equally to all departments. The tax increases mean the expiration of all the tax cuts that President George W. Bush sent to Congress ten years ago. (The only reason those tax cuts will expire is that Bush passed them under “budget reconciliation” rules. Those rules apply to bills with a ten-year life span, not permanent bills. No one ever talked then of turning them off for the sake of turning them off. When Alan Colmes says that, he’s lying.)
Yesterday Barack Obama sent to Congress a plan he called a “balanced approach.” It calls for $1.6 trillion in tax increases and $500 billion in spending cuts. And he does not say where those spending cuts will come. They might never come. For he also talks of $50 billion in “stimulus.” This is even worse than the original “fiscal cliff.”
Tim Geithner (the man who still has trouble with Turbo Tax software) shopped that plan around. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) laughed in his face. As of yesterday evening, all the Republicans seemed not to know whether to laugh, or to gnash their teeth in rage. Said Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO):
If the president is going to lead on this critical issue, he has to propose a plan that can actually pass.
Of course he must. Unless he means to stand in the well of the Senate, as Actor Broderick Crawford (portraying Louisiana Governor Huey T. Long under an assumed name) stood in the well of the Louisiana House and bellowed,
I demand that you pass this bill! Nobody’s gonna tell me how to run this State!
All this goes to show that “balanced approach” has never been anything more than a code phrase. The code translates as: soak the rich. (Though where he thinks he can collect $1.6 trillion, or even $160 billion, is beyond our comprehension.) He uses the “fiscal cliff” as an excuse, that’s all.
True to form, the Mainstream Media rushed to call Obama’s plan “a strategic move.” The idea: propose something outrageous and pretend to “accept” something less outrageous.
What this really means
In fact, Obama has never been serious about negotiating a way to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” In fact, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) gave the game away this summer. She said then she would gladly go over the fiscal cliff and then get a “better” (from her point of view) deal well into 2013.
Is sucking the lifeblood out of the job creators in this economy that important to Barack Obama and his friends and advisers? It certainly looks that way. Former Walter Mondale Campaign Manager Bob Beckel once asked his fellow hosts of Fox News Channel’s The Five:
Now wait a minute. How can you defend keeping a [cushy] tax rate for those so much better off than the rest of us?
That’s not the question, Mr. Beckel. The question is, how can you defend such highway robbery of those very persons? Persons who did not commit the crime of bringing America close to the fiscal cliff?
The Tenth Commandment reads:
Do not covet your neighbor’s house,…nor anything that belongs to him.
The Ninth Commandment reads:
Do not swear falsely against your neighbor.
The Eighth Commandment reads:
Do not steal.
The Obama fiscal cliff “plan” does all three.
Today, in a toy factory hangar, Barack Obama defended this theft, and even drummed up support for it. He even said he missed campaigning. This shows his attitude: anyone who had any success in business (other than politics) is inherenly evil, and he, Barack Obama, will punish them “in the name of the people.”
How can it avail the loyal opposition to agree to acts of this kind? The Republican Party should say, as then-UN Ambassador Daniel Patrick Moynihan said to the UN,
We will not acquiesce in, we will not abide by, this infamous act.
Other commentators say repeatedly that the Obama fiscal cliff plan might (no guarantee) rake in enough bucks to pay the government’s bills for five and a half days. But in the immortal words of Henry Rearden (Atlas Shrugged), I could say that, but I won’t. It is not the particular fiscal policy of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Patty Murray, et al. that I challenge. It is their moral premise. If any such policy could work, I would still refuse to support it.
Of course, Obama showed, at that toy factory, that he is ready to blame the Republicans no matter what they do. If they agree, they’ll get the blame, as did Ronald Reagan and George Bush the Elder after taking similar deals. If they refuse, they’ll be the Marquis d’Evremondes of American politics. (With Nancy Pelosi already rehearsing the role of Madame DeFarge.) So they’re d____d if they do, and d____d if they don’t.
Let’s do it, then. Let’s walk away.
Now you understand the headline, with profuse apologies to job-hunting guru Richard Nelson Bolles. Prepare for a recession, or even a depression. Buy all three, I say again, all three, of the metals that Portia (The Merchant of Venice) relied on to choose a mate: gold, silver…and lead.
Interpret that however you like.ARVE Error: need id and provider
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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