if you come to a cliff in the road…

With the election behind us, attention shifts to the next distraction.  That’s the simultaneous expiration of tax cuts and support programs, coupled with automatic, across-the-board spending cuts staged by our feckless national leaders; collectively known as the “Fiscal Cliff.”

Our best hope is that the Washington establishment, the vested interests, the elected aristocracy, et al., just this once will set aside partisan differences, join hands, and for the sake of the country — JUMP!

Of course, a real cliff would be preferable.

Yes, higher tax rates on people earning over $250,000 a year (aka, “millionaires”) would impede business and job creation, but at least decisions can be made.  Uncertainty – including ad nauseum interim extensions – causes paralysis.

On the flip side, there will be higher tax rates on everyone else, coupled with millions immediately losing unemployment benefits, the 2% payroll tax increase, and the slashing of child and earned income tax credits.  This would shift millions back into the “tax payer” category, if only nominally, alleviating the current “free rider” syndrome in the electorate.

And, as frightening as some find sequestration’s military cuts, perhaps we should contemplate whether we really need six- or seven hundred military installations in a gross of countries.  Meanwhile automatic cuts in discretionary non-military spending could prompt the same kind of “is this a critical mission?” analysis.  Is that so bad, if you’re not a military contractor or a welfare bureaucrat?

Sadly, given the current owners of our government, the pols are also more likely to jump off a real cliff than do something right.

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One Response to if you come to a cliff in the road…

  1. Elenor says:

    As the owner of a small manufacturing biz, I’m working to keep my eyes carefully turned away from ALL of this (idiot-politicians not doing their jobs) stuff. (A plague on ALL their houses!!) As the owner of a small biz I’m “hunkering down” (god, I hate that phrase…) and doing the minimum — buying only what I absolutely NEED for production, avoiding any expenses I can put off, looking for any tax benefits and tax avoidance I can find and legitimately take. (No hirin’ goin’ on here!!)

    (Plus, I’m struggling paying off the $8,000+ ER bill for a +*@^&+&*$ kidney stone I was NOT expecting to suffer — and have to pay big bucks for! I have no insurance and, despite being a veteran, could get no “govt help.” The most annoying thing is — other than providing pain meds, they didn’t DO anything: CAT scan (at just over half the bill!), overnight suffering in an ER cubicle, unseen radiologist reading the scan for diagnosis, and a referral to “make an appt with doc for treatment” (which, of course, I couldn’t afford anyway. Passed it a week later on my own: god bless pain meds!). And no insurance company or govt-negotiated lower costs for me — *I* am not able to ‘skip out’ on paying (higher amounts) for health care…

    A doctor friend points out that for uninsured folks (okay, so I’ll be incorrect: for uninsured white home- and/or business-owner folks) the hospital raises the bill by a straight-out 40%, which they MAY then magnanimously give back as a “discount” (“since you are actually going to pay your bill”) when you come in to plead for a payment plan or a little help. The illegals just get cut free from the ER, no chasing THEM for payment… The poor get govt help — paid for by the struggling home and biz owners whom no one will help. (Is it unreasonable to be angry that Georgia not only makes me pay unemployment “benefits” on myself — which I will NEVER be able to draw (it’s in the law: the company owner has to PAY unemployment on him/herself, but cannot ever draw it!) — but that they raised the rates because they’d used up all the fed money?!)

    Do I sound frustrated? Nah, that would imply I think anyone cares! I’m just resigned. The govt will continue to screw me and my company to give to everyone else. Here’s hoping I can STAY in biz.

    Hi, Elanor.

    My take is that most of the business community, and nearly all of the small business community is indeed “hunkered down,” and nobody is going to move until they have real answers — on taxes, health care, regulatory environment. Even if the answer is bad, at least you can put it in a spreadsheet and decide what to do — hire, lay off, borrow, cut back, build, whatever.

    Best of luck with your health system issues. Don’t know if it’s a possibility, but “I’ll pay cash today” should get you an automatic 20% off, and I’ve got a relative whose surgeon’s office cut the bill cut in half because they waved a check under the bookkeeper’s nose.

    –jn