Our View: The endless fiscal cliff

Nov 27 2012 - 11:59am


Behold the pale horse
Behold the pale horse

It remains to be seen whether enough voters are serious about reducing the almost incomprehensible debt and deficits that the president and Congress continue to authorize. The U.S. debt is more than $16 trillion -- and has almost doubled in the past four years -- and $1 trillion-plus deficits annual have become commonplace. If the currents levels of debt and deficits are not halted, it will provide a worse world for our children and grandchildren. That's an awful, selfish legacy to leave future generations.

Congress, including our state's pols, and the administration have been entering the final act of a comedy that has been frequently played this century. It's where our pols express deep concern and anger over the debt and deficits, promise to do something about it, and then -- at the last minute -- are afraid of actually cutting government. So they pass short-term spending measures and then promise they'll do something about "that darn debt" in the future. And so the comedy goes on.

Next month, the Congress is supposed to cut about $800 billion. That was promised last year in order for more debt to accumulate. Also, the Bush tax cuts are supposed to expire -- again -- at the end of the year. It's telling that so few very few of our pols are intending to cut government and end the tax cuts. Instead, all the debate is over how to -- surprise -- do a quick spending fix that does away with the mandated cuts, as well as plans to extend the tax cuts, if not for all, at least the middle class and poor.

In our opinion, the Bush tax cuts should be ended for all tax brackets, rich, middle class and poor. If we are serious about reducing debt and deficits, then everyone should make sacrifices. And the "mandated" cuts to government need to happen, more so because Congress failed to make its own cuts. The total of the cuts are mere drop in the GDP of the U.S. monster. But if we can't manage those small cuts, it's another signal that the U.S. is hopeless when it comes to its own budget responsibilities.

We've got to start now, regardless of pain. Procrastination will only create more pain later.

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