Past its own deadline, the lame duck Congress which is slated to be replaced tomorrow passed a so-called “deal” to avoid what was being called a “fiscal cliff,” wherein most Americans would see massive tax increases. However, what isn’t being commonly reported is that as a result of the arrangement struck on Monday and Tuesday and voted on in the House last night, taxes for the vast majority of Americans will be going up anyway.
In a sign that the campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential and vice presidential nominations may already be on the minds of certain members, Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Marco Rubio (R-Florida), both viewed as potential Republican presidential candidates in less than four years, voted no on the Senate “fiscal cliff” bill, while 2012 GOP Vice Presidential nominee Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) deflected press questions about the legislation.
What seems to be most disingenuous about the negotiations over the so-called “fiscal cliff” is that passage of this legislation does absolutely nothing at all to change the fact that the United States of America is still headed straight for a fiscal cliff. No one in their right mind, regardless of their personal political persuasion believes that this legislation has done anything at all to solve our national fiscal crisis, and may in fact make the situation far worse.
To use a word coined by Knoxville News Sentinel legislative writer Tom Humphrey, they live in a different universe in Legislatorland. In this universe, whatever postures well for the next election is what is good for the country.