RON HART: Let’s get fiscal: Bungee off the cliff

Ron Hart

Ron Hart

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 04:32 PM.

The self-inflicted drama of the “fiscal cliff” is playing out in Washington like a Greek comedy — or tragedy, depending on how much you know about economics.


In preparation for appearing on CNN, I read the Congressional Budget Office reports, which are like Ambien in ledger form. To sum up: We have made promises and increased spending to a level that we cannot sustain, and this must be addressed. Aside from more than $16 trillion in debt, now 100 percent of our GDP, it is estimated that with Medicare and Social Security we have $99 trillion in pending, unfunded obligations.

The “fiscal cliff” is the expiration of the Bush tax cuts for 90 percent of Americans, resulting in more than $500 billion in new taxes. Most sane economists agree that this will spark another recession. On the bright side, just to kick the can past the election road, the sequestration agreement (for whatever that is worth in Washington) says they have to cut $109 billion in expenses. Half of the cuts must come from entitlements, worrying the dependency-addicted Democrats, and half from our Defense Department, which concerns the trigger-happy Republicans.

Complicating the matter, many in Obama’s “economic team” are leaving Washington soon. They want to spend more time taxing and regulating their families. Given what they have done with our economy during their reign, they might be arrested by Washington police for leaving the scene of a crime.

Considering what their policies have done and will do to our country, Japan now realizes it got off pretty easy being hit by just U.S. atomic bombs and not by our economic policy makers.

Most Americans expect politicians to work out a back-room deal to avoid embarrassing themselves again. The politicians feel these deals are too ugly for us to watch, so they are compelled to spare us the indignity of the “most transparent President” ever. Political deals are like sausage; it is best not to watch the product being made. The difference is, sausage as an end product is actually good.

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