HEART OF THE MATTER – Kicking the Can: What’s at the End of the Road?
Tom Kocal, Publisher Prairie Advocate News
Most citizens are concerned about the ongoing debate over taxes and big government spending, and with good reason. Every single taxpayer in the country is at risk, with nearly $500 billion in new taxes set to take effect at the start of 2013. At the same time, our government continues to spend more than we bring in and is putting the nation further in debt.
All the discussion and posturing about the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” is a tactic called “brinkmanship,” the practice of pushing dangerous events to the verge of (the brink) of disaster in order to achieve the perceived, most advantageous outcome. This is what is happening today all over the world, with state, federal, and international politics, U.S. foreign policy, union labor relations here in Illinois, and (in several dangerous scenarios) military strategy involving the threatened use of nuclear weapons (See this week’s article from William Fawell and “Elect a New Congress”).
This tactic of pushing a situation to the brink forces one party (or country, or union, or business) to back down and make concessions. This might be achieved through diplomatic maneuvers by creating the impression that one is willing to use extreme methods rather than concede (1).
Fear-based leadership is what we have in the united States of America today. Fear of terrorists, fear of losing your pensions, fear of losing your job, fear, fear, and more fear.
Our leadership also utilizes the “divide and conquer” rule of war. By dividing your opponent’s forces, you also split their ability to focus their attack on your perceived weakness.
In politics, our state and federal government leaders are elected in order to “serve” the People. But what do we have to deal with? Brinkmanship. Take them to the edge with fear in their hearts. Keep yourself in a position of power by making the people under you disagree with each other so that they are unable to join together and remove you from your position. Democrat vs Republican, Union vs Business, Rich vs Poor, and on and on.
Governance by a policy of divide and conquer. What happened to “e pluribus unum?” Has our leadership quit on us? When did “We The people” become the enemy?
Speaker of the House John Boehner, a Republican “conservative,” is now talking about compromise. At RedState.com, Ned Ryun suggests that Boehner be fired.
“As most conservatives know, Boehner and the House GOP Steering Committee decided to purge four conservative House members from their committee. Congressmen Justin Amash and Tim Huelskamp were removed from the House Budget Committee, and Congressmen David Schweikert and Walter Jones were cut from the Financial Services Committee.”
Ryun stated that Amash, Huelskamp, and Schweikert were targeted because they were too fiscally conservative- all three voted against Boehner’s debt ceiling hikes. Amash and Huelskamp were the only two GOP votes against House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget.
“Amash explained that vote at yesterday’s Bloggers’ Briefing at the Heritage Foundation, ‘It’s unacceptable to have unbalanced budgets until 2040.’
“For anyone outside of DC, this statement seems obvious. Only in Washington is balancing the budget radical.”
Ryun concluded that. “If Speaker Boehner wants to purge independent, bold conservatives—I think it’s time he gets fired as Speaker. Not only for the purge. He has failed to effectively win negotiations with President Obama and appointed moderate committee chairs. To the public, Boehner may appear radical but in reality he proposes milquetoast policies, like the tax-hikes he proposed this week.” (2)
What is this - brinkmanship, or divide and conquer? I thought we were on the same side?
President Obama, fresh off his November victory, is promising to cut spending if he gets his requested tax increase.
Spending cuts? CNNMoney reported that President Obama on Monday (Dec. 10) unveiled a $3.7 trillion budget request for 2012 that proposes “painful cuts” in many government programs. “The budget, which is likely to face stiff resistance in Congress, takes a big bite out of domestic spending and would slash deficits by $1.1 trillion over the next decade, according to White House estimates.”
Slash deficits? The U.S.National Debt Clock reports that the Outstanding Public Debt as of 10 Dec 2012 at 03:01:02 PM GMT is $16,380,832,515,802.13. That’s right - over $16 trillion. The estimated population of the United States is 314,025,920, so each citizen’s share of this debt is $52,163.95. The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $3.88 billion per day since September 28, 2007!
Based on these figures, we don’t have ten years.
Pollsters are now asking American citizens if it is OK for Republicans to disavow the pledge they took to hold the line on taxes.
What do they not understand regarding a PLEDGE?
Since every administration, and every Congress, has been “kicking the can down the road” for the past 40 years or so, it is time to intercede.
Unbeknownst to our current leadership, they have finally kicked that can down the very last road. Because at the end of this road lies the Fiscal Cliff.
How about this for a solution? Civil Brinkmanship. We do the dividing and conquering.
Let’s allow them to take us to the edge. Then, we have them right were we want them. One swift kick in the pants of the leader, and they will all follow, tumbling over the edge like lemmings.
Only then will we be able to start fresh as a Free Nation.