George Mantor | Who’s Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?

Who’s Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?

“They were drinking from a fountain that was pouring like an avalanche comin’ down the mountain.” Butthole Surfers

Is there really a Fiscal Cliff? What the heck is it? Are we going over? Then what?

Is there really a Fiscal Cliff? Well, there could have been. His name was Cliff Kaiser and he was a candidate running in a field of nine for two city council seats in my town. Knowing that I had run a campaign for Mayor a few years back he sought my advice.

I told him that there really isn’t much of a campaign and the candidate needs to create it. With eight other candidates, speeches have to be short and only a few hundred people attend the forums. Under these circumstances, name recognition is everything.

Since his campaign was based on fiscal responsibility, I suggested that he campaign as “Fiscal” Cliff. He quickly paid for my lunch and left and I haven’t heard from him since.

He was certainly among the most qualified candidates with a long history of service to the community.

He lost by just 51 votes. You can only wonder what might have been. “Fiscal” Cliff for City Council! Has a nice ring to it, dontcha think?

Other than that, the fiscal cliff is a made up distraction. Less like a cliff and more like a brick wall, all the talk about a fiscal cliff is intended to conceal the real problem. There is no one-time occurrence that will change the future.

If no compromise is reached on the Fiscal Cliff the recession deepens and long term collapse is assured. If a compromise is reached the recession will worsen more slowly but we will still go broke in the future.

Our leaders are the speeding car traveling hell-bent in the exact direction of that brick wall with neither party willing to take the wheel and steer one way or the other.

All of this is just an excuse to slash funding for social security, Medicare and almost anything that is good for people in favor of homeland security, prison building boom, endless, pointless wars, corporate welfare and big banks. Now cometh the austerity.

If we can print money and just give it to the banks and they say that helps the economy, a little, sorta, kind-of, well, then I’m all for printing a boat load and giving it to poor people to spend on the stuff they need.

Every time there is a slight uptick in consumer spending it is heralded as the turning point in the economy. I figure it’s just people replacing stuff that is no longer serviceable.

If I were a leader in America today, I would want that to be my legacy. I gave fiat money to poor people to stimulate the economy.

The fiscal cliff was created by our esteemed leaders painting themselves into the proverbial corner. Reducing things to their simplest, American workers don’t earn enough taxable income from which to provide services and reduce the deficit and pay the interest on the ever growing amount of borrowing needed to bridge the gap. Unless we put sixteen million people to work in good paying jobs we will only sink lower and lower, consumed by the interest on our debt.

Not wanting to deal with harsh realities like doom and failure, our leaders used a series of tricks to kick the can down the road.

Their last trick was borrowed directly from Euro zone central bankers. Do nothing but appear to be doing something. Mario Draghi would be so proud.

When congress could not agree on a budget, they formed the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. Too bad nobody thought to bring an actual joint to their meetings because maybe they could have chilled long enough to find common ground.

As expected, things did not go well among the members of the Joint Select Committee presumably because they were selected on the basis of their mutual acrimony.

The Budget Control Act of 2011 provided that, if the Joint Select Committee did not produce bipartisan legislation, across-the-board spending cuts would take effect on January 2, 2013.

The question for congress and the President is can they find anywhere else to kick the can now that they have run out of road. Will they? Yeah, probably. But like I said, it doesn’t really matter. We’re just at the point of eating our seed corn.

The tactic is deny and delay but there is no solution outside of QE right to the people. It would work brilliantly to stimulate employment, leading to tax revenues, leading to a reduction in the need for a government bureaucracy to mete out essential services to an increasing number of poor people.

But, change is not the goal. The solution is simple but they would never agree to it.

The standard of living isn’t declining only for those who lost their jobs, or got sick or injured, or who lost a business to the purposely created recession and they are legions and growing in almost every bank scammed nation on the planet.

Your standard of living is declining if you can’t go to the movies unless you are heavily armed. Gangs of thugs roam through event parking lots and beat the crap out of whomever they choose and disappear into the crowd.

When you’re favorite store goes belly-up, your standard of living is going down.

They say there is no inflation but the last time I pumped thirteen gallons of gas it was $68. Food definitely costs more than ever and we have 47.1 million people receiving Supplemental Nutrition Assistance.

Those who believe they will never need it paint a picture of those receiving it as lazy. This will be an easy target for compromise. It’s mostly women, children, and the elderly. But fuck them. This is America. We are under God since 1954. Shortly thereafter we began the war on poverty. It’s over. Poverty won.

We believe in something we like to call Capitalism and the Free Market Economy. We believe corporations are people and should receive corporate well fare but that real living people who can die in wars shouldn’t.

There is something here that has really been bugging me. I’m sick and tired of hearing about all of these people who simply want to sponge off the system.

I just don’t believe that. I’ve never met a human being who didn’t want to make something in their life better than the way it is.

And I have met one hell of a lot of people. I’ve played on dozens of softball teams with players of all ages. Over the course of my business career I’ve met thousands of people and most of them were, as we say, “trying to get ahead.”

I think that “getting ahead“ is deeply rooted in the human spirit. Look to the amazing advancements of just the last 500 years.

I heard someone neo-con wingnut say, “When the monkeys find out they can vote themselves bananas, they’ll never climb another tree.”

These are the same people who don’t believe in evolution, ironic, eh? That’s not just a bad metaphor it’s pure bullshit. We are not monkeys but it does reveal something about how the elite view us.

We are self-actualizing individuals whose accomplishments are breathtakingly obvious. Yes, we built that. All of that.

Most people who have all the bananas they will ever need work anyway.

Jacob Bronowski, in his wonderful 13 part PBS series The Ascent of Man argues simply that “Man must have a purpose.”

I believe that most of us do have a purpose and finding it and fulfilling it are what life is all about.

Why should we spend our lives climbing trees for bananas just so others can get rich?

It’s the system that is broken, not us.

A simple little thing like give the money directly to the people rather than the banks would jump start the economy over night, but without something truly bold, out of the box, crazy the brick wall is inevitable.

It doesn’t matter. The system sucks and it will only get better once it has imploded. For now, there is nothing to do but kick-back and let the squid eat each other.


One Response to “George Mantor | Who’s Afraid of the Fiscal Cliff?”
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