Is there anyone out there who isn’t tired of hearing about the ‘fiscal cliff’ in the US? In a season that is supposed to be about giving, humanity, and other “Christian” values, it seems like we get to December and we start seeing the economy used as a political football. And as normal, it seems as though the GOP and their media pundits couldn’t tell the truth if it bit them in the ass.
We saw so much evidence of creative economic storytelling during the November election, yet it seems like the conservative pundits want to keep the whoppers flowing. So, let’s just settle this right now. President Obama is a fiscal moderate at best whose spending has been as responsible as possible in this economy. In fact, both he and President Clinton demonstrate the greatest level of fiscal restraint from the White House in the last three decades. Forbes, a conservative leaning publication, explains that not only has President Obama run the smallest government in the last three decades but we have to go all the way back to Eisenhower to find a president with smaller government. In fact, the graphic here is from the Forbes article cited above showing us that the Democratic presidents are the most fiscally responsible by a mile….
Even Ann Coulter argues that it’s time for the Republicans to realize they lost the election and they’re going to have to let the President govern. Less of an indicator that the Mayan predictions about the end of the world are near and more of a suggestion that there are fights worth fighting and this just isn’t one of them, I think this should tell the GOP to give up the fight. When the rigid positions are no longer financially profitable for someone like Ann Coulter, it probably suggests that most Americans would prefer if the two parties put their big kid pants on and work together.
But guess what? The fiscal cliff, end of times rhetoric, is just that — words. There are serious long-term consequences if the children can’t play together to figure out a solution that’s good for Americans; however, instead of a cliff it’s a hill — one that we can go down with increasingly severe consequences, but also one that we can come back up if solutions are put in place to address the problem of the Bush tax cuts.
In the end, this issue is about what it’s been about for the last four years, getting both parties willing to do what’s in the best interests of the American people. Whether folks believe that there are better and worse routes to those ends based on political and economic dogma, that’s a fair conversation to have; however, aren’t we all just a little bit tired of lies, misdirection, half-truths, and a whole lot of ill-intended bullshit? The president has been using increasingly urgent sounding rhetoric (e.g., the fiscal cliff) to get people active — from ordinary folks writing into their representatives and senators to those elected officials themselves — and hopefully once the GOP comes to the table, that rhetoric calms. However, it is vital that once-and-for-all the GOP lawmakers people have elected actually start to represent the interests of their constituents instead of playing silly political games of obstruction that have slowed our recovery.
Less drama, more adult-like behavior!