CHH Politics: Fiscal cliff requires compromise

CHH Politics: Fiscal cliff

Keaton Brownstead

If Washington has succeeded in anything the past year, it is exacerbating my inner cynic. The issues of our economy, budget and recovery are a thin veil over political maneuvering, pointing fingers and ideological walls. The fiscal cliff exemplifies everything that is wrong with the government. It says, in effect, “If we cannot agree, nobody gets what they want, and the people we represent lose.” – the equivalent of a mom threatening her kids that if they can’t share the toy it will be put on top of the fridge.

Don’t be fooled, the fiscal cliff is not about people disagreeing on the budget. It is about politicians seeing who can mount the highest horse. There exists a perfect compromise that could have solved the issue from the beginning: the Democrats allow some tax cuts in exchange for a decrease in defense spending. But that makes too much sense. It would work and everyone would look good. That is precisely the problem. Only one side can emerge the victor. This town ain’t big enough for the two of them.

Both parties are at fault. Democrats are willing to wait this out to make the Republicans seem impossible to work with, the exact opposite of what was going on just months ago. This is driven, in part, by the fact that our representatives will likely not face any of the negative consequences of their ineptitude to complete a basic task. Why should our livelihoods be put at risk? Why couldn’t it have been their jobs threatened and not ours?

At this point, I honestly don’t care what the government does – I just want it to do something. All of this talking is wasting oxygen and making more questions than answers. Even if taxes are raised we will at least know what to expect and plan accordingly. The uncertainty is hurting us more than anything.

Think of it like the beginning of the NFL season when nobody could guess what the replacement referees would do. It drove everyone crazy (especially you Green Bay fans). But when the regular referees returned, there was a sense of certainty brought back to the game. Teams had a framework within which they could expect how games would function. There needs to be a framework in how the government operates if there is to ever be any certainty in what they do, as well as assurance that they will do their jobs. Where’s the Constitution when you need it?