This entire Fiscal Cliff situation is beginning to read like a bad movie. The Senate is back working while the House of Representatives remains on break. If the shenanigans going on in Congress were happening in a big business we’ll call XYZ Corporation, and the decision-makers were charged with avoiding repercussions that could surely result from inaction, there might be a clean sweep of those in command if fail-safes weren't reached in a timely manner.
Let’s assume people in the United States earning under $250,000 a year are the employees of that XYZ Corporation and they are facing the possibility of having less take-home pay. They are, unfortunately, also the customers of many other small and large businesses. With the knowledge that their paycheck could decrease if nothing is done, they are holding back on making quite a number of purchases because they might need that money to pay for rent, food and other essentials.
Okay, holding back on spending money means the income of the businesses that normally would have profited from those purchases is also affected, and therefore their employees and business stability are in jeopardy as well. It is simple math. In this scenario, the inability of the powers-that-be who run XYZ Corporation to reach an agreement that preserves the business model and guarantees all but the highest-paid executives in that company still receive the same take-home pay, will almost definitely start a domino effect for other businesses.
That said, it is highly possible that consideration would be given to replacing those gridlocked decision-makers for the good of the company and the survival of all the other companies affected.
Congress is in pretty much the identical position at the moment. There was plenty of time to negotiate and that is what the representatives of the people should be doing, but instead things have see-sawed back and forth with nothing being accomplished. It is not as though this situation just developed. It’s been around and should have been solved before it seemed like Armageddon was approaching.
Some very reasonable compromises have been offered to at least insure that up to 97% of the population is not harmed by this “looming fiscal cliff.” The President and many members of the Senate have offered compromises, but one of the main sticking points seems to be raising taxes on the upper 2% to 3% on the income scale. Essentially, it isn’t even a tax raise, but rather returning the rates for top income earners to what they were before what was supposed to be a temporary break.
Many in that bracket have gone public and said, “Yes, that’s fine with me. I’ll pay a little more so the recovery of our shaky economy isn’t set back.” But, that isn’t good enough. The message from the House of Representatives is basically that it’s no deal unless the tax cut is extended 100%. Theoretically, although they might not like it much, the upper 2%-3% could easily weather the return to the pre-Bush tax rates, but in a strained economy valiantly struggling to recover the odds are that those in the middle and lower brackets will have to pull in their belts.
So, off the cliff we might go. What’s wrong with the picture? Plenty. It’s about time to put all of the political posturing on hold. Quit worrying if a viable solution is actually arrived at and it saves the day, it will appear that President Obama “has won.” If we go off the cliff, the people of the United States are the ones who lose and not only in a financial sense. The message is clear. There is no justification for trying to tie this to the upcoming debt ceiling if it deals a blow to the economy. The fact that House members chose to go off on break while the fate of the nation twirled in the breeze, means another great thing could be lost. Even for many voters who placed the gridlocked members of the House of Representatives in power, the majority of them will be affected if we go off the cliff. Therefore, lurking in the background is the question if perhaps we don't have the right people sitting in those seats that remain vacant for holiday break. How much it would be if they negotiated for real and arrived at decisions before leaving DC for a break as the deadline approached.
Author Morgan St. James has written over 500 articles about the craft of writing and people in the industry for Examiner.com over the past two years. As Las Vegas Women Democrat Examiner, she looks at the political arena from both sides and supports women's rights. Visit her website,www.morganstjames-author.com and her blog for more information.
Her two recently released books are Who's Got the Money?, a funny crime caper about government embezzlement inspired by real experiences is available at most online booksellers in trade paperback and Kindle editions, select Barnes & Noble locations, or can be ordered from local bookstores. Confessions of a Cougar, a mostly true story, is available at online booksellers, also available in all digital formats including Kindle and Nook, or order at your favorite bookstore.