Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
OpEdNews Op Eds

The "Fiscal Cliff" Failed. Now Kill It And Get Back to Work.

By       Message Richard Eskow       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/23/12

Author 77715
Become a Fan
  (14 fans)


(Image by Unknown Owner)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -
!-- IMAGE http://www.opednews.com/populum/uploadnic/fiscal-cliff-jpg_11_20121222-761.jpg FOR SID 77715 -->

The so-called "fiscal cliff" was never real. Congress and the President invented it during last year's negotiations, apparently to persuade voters that unpopular budget measures were needed to avoid a crisis. With the collapse of John Boehner's "Plan B," that gambit has failed. What now?

That's easy: The moving finger of Washington, having writ, can unwrite.

The "fiscal cliff" was never real. It was virtual reality. Now it's time for our leaders to take off the goggles and get back to work.

- Advertisement -

Coalition of the Willing

Thanks to this self-created panic, many politicians in both parties were willing to impose Draconian cuts to Social Security -- even though it doesn't contribute to the deficit -- through the machinations of the "chained CPI" the President put on the table this week.

They were willing to use the same tool to impose a tax hike on middle class income -- one that spared the wealthy by excluding the highest levels of earning.

- Advertisement -

They were willing to ask middle class Americans to sacrifice much more than defense contractors.

Now they've been given the opportunity for a reprieve. They should tell the President they want that reprieve -- and they need it, if only for their re-election prospects.

Tunnel Vision

The artificial crisis limited the discourse, too. Newspapers talked of little else. They certainly didn't pay much attention to the more pressing economic problems we face: Case in point: Extended unemployment insurance is about to expire, while the nation is experiencing record levels of long-term unemployment.

A Google News search on ..."fiscal cliff" yielded 69 million hits this morning. That's "about 69,300,000 hits," to be precise. How many hits did "long-term unemployment" get this morning?

27,100.

- Advertisement -

Centrist/liberal Democratic commentary focused heavily on this sharply limited debate, too, producing a lot of variations on the "cliff vs. Obama compromise" theme like this piece from Ezra Klein. There's even an interactive "Choose your own fiscal cliff adventure!" feature on Ezra's Washington Post WonkBlog site.

(To be fair, the title's probably meant ironically, and the interactive part's pretty cool. I'm not objecting to coverage of the "cliff," either, but to coverage that excludes or de-emphasizes other, better choices. And, 69 million hits vs. 27,000 hits says that's a valid objection.)

When it came to reframing the argument, the fiscal cliff's architects can say "Mission Accomplished." But their plan failed anyway. The public still hates their proposals.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Host of 'The Breakdown,' Writer, and Senior Fellow, Campaign for America's Future

Richard Eskow Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

How to Fix the Fed: Dismiss Dimon, Boot the Bankers, and Can the Corporations

The Top 12 Political Fallacies of 2012

Pawn: The Real George Zimmerman Story

What America Would Look Like If Libertarians Got Their Way

"His Own Man's" Man: Jeb Bush and the Return of Wolfowitz

"F" The Bureaucracy! The White House Can Help Homeowners Right Now