Responsible Fiscal Cliff Resolution
It's as simple as doing the right thing.
by Stephen Lendman
Responsible governance isn't rocket science. Nor is effective economic policy. Fiscal cliff resolution is as simple as doing the right thing. Both parties spurn doing so.
December 31 is a nominal deadline. Effectively it's meaningless. New year legislation can be retroactive to January 1. Absent any, here's what's at stake.
Bush tax cuts revert automatically to Clinton-era levels. The current top 35% will rise to 39.6%. Average middle income families will pay an extra $2,200 annually.
High income earners have clever lawyers and accountants able. They're able to minimize their burden. Ordinary people are hit hardest.
The payroll tax will rise from 4.2% to 6.2%. Doing so means a 50% tax increase for over 90% of Americans.
Payroll taxes shouldn't have been cut in the first place. Better economic stimulus methods exist. Cuts drain Social Security Trust Fund reserves. Doing so irreparably hurts the ability to pay future benefits.
Congress planned it that way. Both parties want Social Security privatized. Doing so assures destroying it altogether. It also violates Franklin Roosevelt's pledge. He said:
"We put those payroll contributions there so as to give the contributors a legal, moral, and political right to collect their pensions and their unemployment benefits."
"With those taxes in there, no damn politician can ever scrap my social security program. Those taxes aren't a matter of economics. They're straight politics."
Both parties play hardball. Class war defines their agenda. America's social contract is on the chopping block for elimination. A decade from now it won't exist in its current form. In two decades or less it will disappear altogether.
Doing so means using America's resources for waging war on humanity, increasing corporate profitability, and benefitting super-rich elites already with too much. Vital popular needs will be sacrificed.
Nominally at midnight December 31, unemployment benefits for 2.1 million Americans expire. They represent those without jobs longterm. In 2013 Q I, another million Americans will lose their benefits. More will lose out throughout the year.