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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fiscal Cliff and Defense Cuts

Congressional inaction to meet the December 31st deadline to eliminate broad based tax increases will have the untended consequence of implementing some deep defense cuts. This is a "fiscal double effect" for Republicans because, while they're whining about increasing taxes for the rich, their wealthy mogul supporters will see some lucrative defense contracts shrink if the "fiscal cliff" crises isn't immediately resolved.

Many progressives find this Republican dilemma to be more a solution than a problem.  Progressives have called on President Obama to cut defense spending rather than social programs while negotiating with recalcitrant "no tax" Republicans about the "fiscal cliff".  When Republicans refuse to raise taxes on the rich and super rich, they're forcing the "fiscal cliff" defense cuts advocated by progressives. 

Of course, everyone gets tax increase if Republicans don't "get", the double impact of their stubborn and relentless "no tax" stand.  In the long run, the expiring "Bush tax cuts" will protect the social programs the progressives, and beneficiaries of Social Security and Medicare value, while allowing Democrats to blame Republicans for the avoidable negative impact.

Unfortunately, many people on extended unemployment benefits will be the collateral damage in the absence of a fiscal solution to the "fiscal cliff".  Congressional Republicans get paid plenty of tax payer money to "do nothing", so they don't pay much attention to those desperately in need of unemployment benefits.  Perhaps, Republicans should change places with the unemployed for one week.  Suppose we put the unemployed in Congress and put the Congress on unemployment!  We'd get a resolution to the fiscal crises faster than a Congressional bank deposit of a lobby check if the two populations could reverse rolls, even for one week.

Meanwhile, Republicans who continue holding up tax relief for the middle class just because they "can", continue to build adversaries. Republican are angering the middle class by being so stubborn. Republicans aren't listening to voters who will hold Republicans responsible when everyones' taxes increase, just because compromise doesn't seem to be in their political vocabulary.  Finally, defense related industries will be unforgiving if contracts are cut, when a simple majority vote of the Congress would keep funds flowing.  

Meanwhile, President Obama's approval continues to improve while Republicans stand on their unpopular "no tax" positions.  

If voters can't sway Congressional Republicans, perhaps influential CEO's, who lead defense related companies, can persuade a
fiscal cliff vote and avoide broad based tax increases. Although public and Presidential pressure has stalled progress on the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, the defense industries should have a lot to loose and, therefore, a lot to say, about Republican incompetence and unresponsiveness to the urgency of the "fiscal cliff" crises.   

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