Just so we’re painfully clear on what happened in the fiscal cliff deal:
In 2011, the last time we had a debate over
paying the bills that Congress had already racked up through massive tax cuts and unfunded wars the debt ceiling, Republicans demanded a major dismantling of social welfare programs. Even though they didn’t get what they wanted, everyone foolishly agreed that the debt is the biggest problem that has faced the republic since its founding and decided that they’d make sure we dealt with that by coming up with a set of fiscal horrors so terrifying that the government would come up with a real solution to our deficit problems rather than fall off this so-called fiscal cliff.
In other words, the fiscal cliff was a congressionally created incentive to avoid another show down the debt ceiling which is itself a congressionally created crisis-in-waiting.
The fiscal cliff deal passed by the Senate does not, of course, address the debt ceiling.
So, at the end of this exercise in absurdity, we are back where we started and this spring will be having the same deficit driven battle over the future of the social welfare in America.
Just wanted to be clear on that.