…It’s like line dancing, except the people on the end die if you step too far…
Example, let’s all agree that we’re prepared to jump:
In an interview on CNBC, Geithner was asked, “When it comes to raising taxes on the wealthy, those making more than $250,000, if Republicans do not agree to that, is the administration prepared to go over the fiscal cliff?” ”Oh, absolutely,” Geithner said, maintaining that the administration continues to seek a “balanced” agreement.
Well, that’s fine. Both sides are taking an entrenched stand… Republicans say no to new taxes (though they’ll eliminate deductions to try to make up the revenue). Democrats are saying no to no to new taxes (if you get my drift). So essentially the sides are deciding to be intractable on a single specific issue, and it really doesn’t matter, since taxes are going up on everyone anyway. The payroll tax deduction is expiring at the end of the year anyway, and the increase in tax rates overall will just be more salt-flavored icing on the cake.
Of course, let’s also agree that drama is bad, especially if it takes the form of dialog.
As Ed thoroughly outlined this morning, one of the fiscal-cliff contingency plans Republicans have reportedly been considering as an option would be to agree to Obama’s tax hikes in order to avert going over the cliff, and instead hold out for substantial entitlement reform next year using the debt ceiling as leverage.
But that is an entirely childish, irresponsible, unacceptable plan — sanctimoniously says the guy who has already received six debt-ceiling raises and is currently running the country at a trillion-plus deficit every single year.
Note the rock-solid stance of suck on both sides here. They’re both feeling wonderfully content that they can hose the credit rating of the country in a variety of ways while scoring cheap points. The loser here is not any political side, but more likely the taxpayer who first has to listen to this dreck and then has to pay for it.
So… whatever. The unintended consequence of this is that the American people are going to feel even further distanced from reality as the media enters the spin war and tries to help us pick either side… while we’re sick of both of them.