"He who has ears to hear, let him hear." Luke 14:35b

Monday, December 10, 2012

Let's Get Real, Folks

Fiscal cliff
I’m hard pressed to find any authenticity coming out of our nation’s capital. The looming fiscal cliff hasn’t been solved, yet Congress plans to adjourn at the end of this week, and the President will jet off to Hawaii for Christmas.
The arrogance displayed at the beginning of the President’s first term has re-emerged. Somehow he believes he has a mandate—or worse, sovereign powers. He hands Congress a proposal chock-full of new spending with the only plan to raise revenue is taxing the top 2% of American wage earners, and he’s unwilling to negotiate.
The famous Warren Buffett smoke-and-mirrors analogy of taxing millionaires to pay down the debt is just that. Buffett paid $6+ million in taxes last year. If we doubled his taxes and he paid $13 million, it wouldn’t put a dent in our national debt.
In fact, even if we tax the top 2% at 100% rate, it wouldn’t put a dent in the nation’s debt! The suggestion to raise taxes on the top 2% is a feel-good tactic designed to placate the President’s base
The wealthiest Americans will continue to find loopholes and deductions to avoid paying higher taxes—which is why the Republicans have proposed closing the loopholes and limiting deductions on the top 2%. 
Consider these figures*: 
66.1 million Americans receive welfare, food stamps, and/or Medicaid
21.2 million Americans work for the government
109.3 million Americans are employed by the private sector
This means 87.3 million Americans draw checks from the government. This doesn’t include the Social Security, Medicare, and disability debacle. 
Let’s get real. It’s not rocket science. To raise revenue to help balance the budget and start paying down the debt we need to add more private sector tax payers. To do this, we must create an environment that will enable job growth. Raising taxes on those making above $250,000 (many are small business owners), will stagnate job growth even more.
The other thing in the President’s proposal? Eliminate the debt ceiling. 
Just like when the President erroneously stated last spring the Supreme Court didn’t have jurisdiction to rule on Obamacare, he once again shows his ignorance of the Constitution. Three branches exist for a reason—for times like these when one branch tries for a power grab and refuses to negotiate. The debt ceiling is controlled by Congress to force the country to live within its means. 
Could you imagine if we didn’t have a debt ceiling? 
Part of the problem is we refuse to take the bitter medicine we should have four years ago. No one wants to tighten the purse strings. Yet, like the person who runs up credit card debt and lives overextended all of a sudden finds their world crashing down around them, our nation will suffer the same fate if our leaders don’t get serious about debt control. 
It’s ridiculous that, just like during the election, polls reflect anger and blame toward Republicans when they are working toward financial responsibility. I’m under no illusion that their plan is perfect or that we don’t have pork barrel addicts in Congress. However, it’s time to take the ideological blinders off just because you support the social programs of the President. He’s unwilling to negotiate! 
Where’s the leadership?
President Reagan worked across the aisle with House Speaker Tip O’Neill, and President Clinton worked with House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both of these administrations enjoyed economic success, which in turn, benefited the American people. 
The sad, ironic thing is that once again the President has taken to the campaign trail to sell his proposal. He implores Americans to tweet or call Congress to show support for his plan. This isn’t a popularity contest, Mr. President. The election is over. I don’t care one whit who gets the “blame” if we go over the fiscal cliff, despite the mainstream media trying to pin it on John Boehner and the Republicans. Neither am I surprised by that. The media helped re-elect what we have now. 
Roll up your sleeves, Mr. President, and get to work! The costs are too high, if you fail to lead. Our country and our children’s future depend on it. 
© Laura Hodges Poole
*Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
Photo courtesy of Microsoft.com free clip art


  1. I hear ya!

    I've been thinking of things to put in my Jan Newsletter, doing research and it's making my head ache.
    Not only are we avoiding the fiscal cliff but we are also wasting money on stupid things like Zombie defense and explaining the Mayan calendar. REALLY? Where is common sense?

    1. There is no common sense in DC. It's very disheartening. We just have to keep our eye on Christ and keep sounding the alarm.

  2. laura like you i am just sick over obama's attitude - he is a true despot. i also agree that the problem is not that convoluted just STOP SPENDING! tony gave me a great lesson during the election when we were researching each issue together. there was a proposal for lower property taxes for military families. i thought this is a no brainer we will vote yes - tony said no and when i asked why he told me that yes it is good ideal but there is no money for yet another program therefore we should vote no. he made the point of if money is not there then there must be NO spending even if the spending is for a good cause. our elected need to get this through their thick skulls!! last thing everyone please continue to let our elected know our concerns and thoughts!!

    1. I totally agree, Betty. He has become even more arrogant since being re-elected. I was struck by the fact that a concert was given in NY this week to benefit the Hurricane Sandy rebuilding effort because the government does not have the resources to cover everything. Nor should they. It's a perfect example of how the private sector can manage money and resources so much better than the government can, yet there is a growing segment of folks in this country who want the government to take on more.