Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Our Laurel and Hardy Fiscal Cliff

It looks like one of those classic Laurel and Hardy movies. Laurel and Hardy had some famous battles with enemies named James Finlayson and Edgar Kennedy. You've seen them before. First they trade insults. Then they begin destroying each others homes/businesses/automobiles until the movie ends with the four of them sitting in piles of rubble or junk. Those were called comedies and the audiences made fun of the four who behaved like rotten children. It was a formula used repeatedly to make a number of successful comedies.

Today, audiences call that behavior "politics."

Consider a few examples post election:

Common sense would tell us that neither the White House, the House of Representatives or the United States Senate wants to see us plunge over the fiscal cliff that was created by:
  • The White House
  • The House of Representatives
  • United States Senate
Everyone uses the Thelma and Louise movie scene of driving over a cliff while everyone with a modicum of Common Sense can only stand by and watch, frustrated and amazed by the turn of events. It is a nice example to use to explain to those who never pay attention. But instead of solving the problems, our leadership in Washington mimics Laurel, Hardy, Finlayson and Kennedy.

Vastly complicating things, our latest debt ceiling is nearing. That debt was created by:
  • The White House
  • The House of Representatives
  • United States Senate
The debt ceiling is another Apollo 13 moment.  Stop excessive spending or vastly increase revenue, and Apollo 13 will not occur and leave our economy running out of oxygen while limping along in outer space. Instead of solving that problem, our leadership in Washington mimics Laurel, Hardy, Finlayson and Kennedy.

No one is talking about unemployment rates which apparently have been "adjusted" post election. No one can explain how unemployment numbers can drop without counting the chronically unemployed who no longer qualify for unemployment benefits. That nonsense was created by:
  • The White House
  • The House of Representatives
  • United States Senate
Instead of solving the problem, they pretend it doesn't exist, like Laurel, Hardy, Finlayson and Kennedy.  Or like a science fiction movie where the time travelers visit a vacated New York City or Los Angeles and asks: "What happened to everyone? Where did they all go?"

Everyone is talking about reforming the tax code, but not before the once severely maligned Bush tax cuts are extended, except of course for those deemed rich. President "You Didn't Build That" and "You Didn't Do That" is adamant that the tax cuts for the rich be ended, even if the payoff in increased revenues is minimal. Of course, those who previously severely maligned the Bush tax cuts and now want to keep those cuts in place are:
  • The Democrat in the White House
  • The Democrats in the House of Representatives
  • The Democrats in the United States Senate
The "I didn't say that" and "Oh yes you did" arguments sound again like Laurel, Hardy, Finlayson and Kennedy. I have a theory that those Democrats secretly want those Bush tax cuts to disappear, like the chronically unemployed, otherwise, why would they scoff at proposals that would eliminate various tax loop holes and deductions that would increase revenues faster than merely taxing the "rich"?

The Simpson-Bowles proposals, which was immediately shelved and forgotten by President Obama in July of 2011, suddenly are starting to look better and better.

In terms of spending cuts, our hero in the United States Senate, Richard Durbin, doesn't want to cut anything other than defense expenditures. Those who are adamant about the massive defense cuts are:
  • The Democrat in the White House
  • The Democrats in the House of Representative
  • The Democrats in the United States Senate.
That defense cut message certainly came through loud and clear to the rest of the world. Those nearly 1,000 rocket bombs launched by Hamas into heavily populated areas of Israel just after the November 6th election were no mere coincidence. I was waiting for the White House to argue those rocket bomb launches were the result of a rogue video gone viral on You Tube.  It did take the White House several days to publicly say anything about these acts of terror.

Ask yourself while we head over the fiscal cliff and hit yet another debt ceiling why the Obama administration has failed to prosecute a single fat cat Wall Street banker or trader who helped created our economic malaise, then go check out all those fat cat contributions he received from all of them.

Then ask if you have seen or heard any statements or pearls of wisdom coming from Congressman-elect Brad Schneider.  Or is he playing the Keystone Cop in those Laurel and Hardy movies who instead of breaking up the violent offenders, stands on the sidelines an keeps taking copious notes of every infraction while the combatants continue their destructive ways? The country refused to reelect most of the moderates in Washington, like Robert Dold.

Time to write to Turner Classic Movies and ask them to start showing all those Laurel and Hardy comedies again.

They certainly are more pleasant to watch than what is going on in Washington, D.C. right about now.

No comments:

Post a Comment