The View From Over Here: Cliffhanging for Cash

Proud of our Senators and Congressmen for scaling fantasy Fiscal Cliff.

Didn’t you just stand in awe of our national government as the mighty struggle of the Fiscal Cliff was waged?  I was especially proud our very own representatives in the House of Representatives and the U. S. Senate.  They made me even prouder than the Redskins’ RG3, Alfred Morris and London Fletcher!

Yep, our reps know the biggest problem facing our great nation is not the 20-plus million people unemployed in America or the collapsing middle class who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle and the pensions stolen.  Nope. The real problem is the fantasy Fiscal Cliff set upon us last year by those in our majestic Capitol, the workplace of our heroic and compassionate Congress.  

Last year, while our fearless leaders were doing what they do best — busily calling wealthy pals for campaign cash - they sneaked into the Capitol and passed a law that said on Jan. 1, 2013 taxes would increase for the wealthy and some treasure would be drained from the defense contractors’ trough.  This rogue law also required slashing of the safety net protecting older, poorer Americans—a provision generally of less concern to our reps, except Gerry Connolly, the 2012 addition to our squad.

Our legislators -- Senators Mark Warner and Jim Webb and Congressmen Connolly and Frank Wolf -  fought like tigers for lower taxes for the top two percent. President Barack Obama and fellow House and Senate members would increase taxes on incomes over a meager $200,000 and on unearned capital gains and inheritances. Imagine! 

Warner, Webb, Connolly and Wolf succeeded in protecting incomes of their campaign contributor class — up to $400,000 each and minimizing the Feds bite on unearned income.  Fat cats earning from $200,000 to $400,000
had their Bush tax cuts made permanent—and know they have our guys to thank, among others.  (Note: New Sen. Tim Kaine also would have protected the contributor class. In fact, he argued for keeping cuts for those up to $550,000).

Here’s the hard part for leaner cats.  Warner, Kaine, Connolly and Wolf also support even higher levels of pork for the Military Industrial Complex.  And, they have now reduced the President’s proposed revenue increases by more than half-from $1.3 trillion to $600,000 billion over 10 years.  So, if I’ve got this right, the difference of $700,000 billion will have to be made up by increasing spending cuts by about this amount?  

Since both Republicans and our VA Democrats seem to agree defense contractors must be fed first (to protect us all from enemies to be determined later), cuts totaling somewhere over $1 trillion will all have to come from so-called “entitlement” programs serving lower and middle income Americans.  If this isn’t class warfare, I don’t know what is.

P.S.  Here is a positive suggestion for “entitlement” reform to reduce the deficit.  This reform would solidify Social Security for many generations, a stated objective of most on Capitol Hill. 

Here’s how:  Increase income subject to the FICA tax to $200,000 per year and means test Social Security benefits.  I.e., pay no benefits to anyone with income over $100,000. 

After all, Social Security is supposed to be a safety net, not a supplement for the comfortable. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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