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Country dancing on fiscal cliff Staff
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 07:34 PM

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The looming horror of 2013 is the fateful prospect of going over the financial cliff into the abyss of desolation and recession.

The truth of the matter is that we are already past the stage of going over the financial cliff. We have a government that is fiscally irresponsible and refuses to bring the spending it loves under control.

It just keeps promising more goodies to more people who haven't the slightest clue of where this country is heading. All they are interested in how much they can get from the government. We have an administration that has produced more debt and continues to run a deficit of a trillion dollars year after year.

That is not to absolve the previous administration who did, in fact, contribute to our debt. However, not at the rate of this administration, which talks not out of both sides of its collective mouth, but indeed, sideways.

The President is out campaigning and blaming the Republicans for the failure to come to terms as regards the Bush-era tax rates. When the Speaker of the House puts $800 billion in new revenue on the table, the administration sends the Treasury Secretary to tell the Speaker the game has changed and now they want $1.6 billion in tax revenue; without the administration detailing any new spending cuts.

Also, the President wants a $50 billion stimulus package, and in addition the administration wants Congress to abrogate its constitutional authority when it comes to raising the debt ceiling. The President wants that power for himself, without interference from the people's elected representatives, to raise the debt as he sees fit.

What is it that he is drinking that he thinks he alone has the power to amend the Constitution and forget our system of checks and balances?  

In effect, the administration is making demands that they know cannot possibly be agreed to by the House of Representatives. The political game is that by putting demands that are not feasible before the opposition party, they can force the financial calamity that ensues and blame the Republicans for not wanting to cooperate.

In this way, the president gets his higher taxes as the Bush-era rates would expire and, because of sequestration, massive and drastic spending cuts would take effect. By pushing this strategy it may very well backfire on the administration because they are in charge and a recession would not be a Boehner recession but rather an Obama recession.

This is much akin to that fellow Nero who fiddled while some ancient city was in flames.  We are much like that ancient city and our Nero prefers to take his teleprompter on tour so he can remember what it is he is supposed to say.     

Len Tria, a regular columnist for Hernando Today, lives in Spring Hill and is a former Hernando County commissioner.

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