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AdLib On November - 27 - 2012

Be afraid…be very afraid…it’s coming! No, it’s not the zombie apocalypse or an image repair PR tour by Mitt Romney and his entire family (if there’s a difference)…it’s…The Fiscal Cliff! A disaster of epic nature that has Irwin Allen trying to claw his way out of his grave to direct it!

Taxes will skyrocket! Medicare will be devastated! The economy will be in ruins! Twinkies will cease to exist! It’s the end of the world as we know it…and all of the cynics were wrong, the end of the world is indeed being televised (and just imagine how much they’re charging for commercials during it)!

We only have thirty-four days left until America will be obliterated! At the stroke of midnight, New Year’s Day, they won’t be celebrating in Times Square, they will be screaming in panic and rioting…which may actually be difficult to discern from the usual response to the ball dropping except for the increased number of people pulling their own heads off.

What’s so terrible is that we can see it coming, we know we’re speeding towards the edge of the cliff and when we reach it, the two inch drop could kill us! If it gave us a heart attack. Which is what the wealthy and the media out there are trying to give us.

They are pointing at a pit bull puppy and screaming at us to fear for our lives because it’s a pit bull and it could tear us apart. However, the truth is, it isn’t a big dangerous thing at this point in time, it would take a lot of time to pass before it grew into a legitimate threat…but don’t let that stand in the way of a good manipulation.

The propaganda around this “Fiscal Cliff” hogwash is amazing but was predictable. The media needs an urgent story to replace the election in order to keep viewership up and the wealthy need a scarecrow to instill fear into the masses to hopefully trick them into supporting a greater shift of wealth from them to the wealthiest 1%.

The reality of what literally happens on January 1, 2013 is absolutely nothing like falling off a cliff or a zeppelin bursting into fire, in fact, it will have no profound immediate impact on most Americans (though one might expect the wealthiest to use it as an excuse to tank Wall Street to hit the accelerator on the Fear Bus in an attempt to panic Americans into urging their politicians to give up on taxing the wealthy just to save their own nest eggs).

It’s no different from the Bizarro Cassandra role the MSM took during the election, “Maybe all the polls are wrong and Romney is ahead!” “It’s very possible for Romney to win the popular vote while Obama wins the Electoral College!” “What if Obama is actually a pinata and filled with delicious candy?”

This lousy corporate-driven excuse for journalism that we take for granted now, that speculation is equal to fact (and in some cases, greater than fact) should be seen as outrageous. Instead, many are lured into the false reality that’s constructed…even if they know better.

So why are Republicans and the corporate media so intent in portraying 1/1/2013 as Doomsday? Could it be because that is the day the Bush tax cuts cease to exist and the primary issue that they care about and have spent hundreds of millions in an election trying to win is lost? It seems clear that their greatest concern is that their taxes might go up 4%…which would be disastrous for someone making $100 million a year…after deductions, they may have to pay an additional amount that could have instead gone to installing a second car elevator…it’s an outrage!

There would be an impact on the 99%, they would have a bit less money in their paychecks which for many could make life more difficult. Though, it’s nothing that’s permanent.

The wealthy and corporations know what the real truth is. If a deal isn’t reached before the end of the year, the leverage shifts hugely against them and into the hands of President Obama and the Democrats. Then, the position Obama is in is that of proposing tax cuts! And if the top 2% aren’t included, do Republicans break their Grover Norquist pledge and vote against tax cuts?

Of course there will be a deal and even if it is after the beginning of the year, it won’t be more than a few months at most until it’s done. It is absolutely untenable for Republicans to stonewall  tax cuts for the 99%. The obvious problem is that Americans will all be upset as their take home pay shrinks suddenly and all polls show that they will blame Republicans…the grass roots anger that will grow against them will make any position blocking tax cuts for 99% of Americans impossible to sustain.

This is what the wealthy and corporations recognize, the best deal they can get on minimizing their tax increases and preserving loopholes is before the Bush tax cuts expire. Thus, the need to inflate the Fiscal Cliff “catastrophe” in an attempt to whip up popular opinion and pressure to make Obama and the Dems agree to a more compromised deal now.

It certainly would seem worth the short term Wall Street tantrums to allow the Bush tax cuts to die a well “earned” death first before finalizing any deal. Yes, there would be short term impact on the 99% but the extra tax money paid will be returned, a small price to pay over a short period of time for long term economic fairness and security in this country.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

32 Responses so far.

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  1. Spot on analysis with you unequaled wit per usual AdLib.

    Remember we got to this ‘fiscal cliff’ because the worst House in history put politics before country. The GOPTEA House had the best offer made to them by a Democratic president since Clinton gave Gingrich the draconian welfare reform they wanted. But because all the Republicans cared about was making Obama a one term president they didn’t take the deal. Thankfully it was a failed strategy and I think the current GOP will fail in this fight too.

    I don’t know what the final deal will be or even if there will be a deal but all the GOP will do is make it as ugly a process as possible.

  2. funksands says:

    Ad great piece and very good take on the dramatization of the fiscal stepstool.

    While the austerity that will be enacted will be the equivalent of 20% of the crash of 2008-09 and will likely be painful, it certainly wouldn’t be permanent and would be a useful fire to clear out the political underbrush that has been allowed to accumulate in our fiscal policy over the last 20 years.

    I feel confident that the GOP will eventually fold on the higher tax rates on higher earners, because they don’t care about them anyway. The ultra-wealthy don’t earn W-2 income anyway. Watch a trade of keeping cap gains and dividend rates the same while allowing income taxes to rise on wealthier taxpayers. A bad trade, but the one the GOP wants.

    The only fear I feel is that if the entire stepstool happens, then the debt ceiling will have to be addressed soon thereafter. A scorned and stung GOP may cheerfully allow our debt to be downgraded yet again, having shown the capacity for pettiness over much smaller issues.

    • AdLib says:

      Funk, Obama’s track record has shown that he is very clever about making it appear to Repubs that he is making the cuts they want while actually making cuts that aren’t harmful to most Americans so I agree, he will give them cuts that cut away the underbrush and not the roots of important programs.

      The GOP has no choice, they will agree to tax increases for the wealthy to at least be able to bargain on the spending side. Otherwise, they will be the party of tax increases for 100% of the country and their already damaged brand becomes radioactive.

      Capital Gains rates go up too when Bush tax cuts expire so I do expect increases on them as well, the wealthy will be paying more on income and Cap Gains, I’ll bet.

      Dems have said that the deficit ceiling must be part of the deal and they would be crazy not to insist on that. And would the GOP really risk more damage to their party by holding the country hostage again? I don’t think so.

  3. AdLib says:

    So John Boehner refuses to allow taxes to go up on the wealthy? How does that work on 1/1/2013 when taxes go up on the wealthy (and everyone else) whether or not he wants it to happen?

    Why doesn’t the MSM blow this BS wide open? Boehner, Norquist, etc. can’t stop rates going up on the wealthy if Obama refuses to sign a bill where taxes don’t go up on them. And he’s made clear he will.

    Though EmoProgs may howl if Obama negotiates less of a marginal increase on the wealthy, as long as tax breaks and loopholes raise the taxes in tandem with marginal increases, the actual number is less important to me.

    • kesmarn says:

      I’m amazed at the way the Repubs swagger and bluster, just as though they’d won the election and had a mandate.

      The American people have sent a loud and clear message: “TAX THE RICH” Which of those three words do they not understand?

      I think the President is determined to allow the Earned Income Credit and the Child Tax Credit to stand, too. It would be a real blow to working people with families to lose either or both of those.

  4. AdLib says:

    Saw this amusing Norquist graphic on Yahoo, had to share:

    A8p_RGoCYAEEOGY.jpg_large.jpg

    • kesmarn says:

      Wonderful! The elephant in flames is the icing on the cake.

      And I think that must be Karl Rove’s posterior, on the left there. The spherical one.

      I saw another cartoon today that depicted a department store “Returns” window. One person was in line to return an “Elmo” doll, and behind him was an elephant holding a boxed “Grover” doll, with that mug — pictured above — staring out of the clear package window.

  5. AdLib says:

    Dana Milbank has officially gained a status of “hack”. This morning he declared that only extremists would be okay with our going over “the fiscal cliff”…when the truth is that it is only the 1%, Repubs and Wall Street who are insistent about the “danger”.

    Hackbank also said that those who are saying going over the cliff will not be a catastrophe are the same as people imagining if we could survive a nuclear winter.

    Really? Going a few days or months with slightly increased taxes is the same as nuclear winter?

    What a screaming hack!

  6. Kalima says:

    Hi AdLib, great article, shame that so may people are fooled again and again into believing the fear mongers, especially when they have been proven wrong so many countless times.

    In the article linked below I posted on MB the other day, Krugman believes very much as you do.

    OP-ED COLUMNIST: Fighting Fiscal Phantoms

    Does the fiscal-crisis story even make sense?

    http://nyti.ms/QjYeHo

    • AdLib says:

      Krugman stole that from me! ;-)

      I think that one piece of blowback that the Repubs didn’t plan on from their unending exploitations of fear is that the public would become so familiar with the routine that they wouldn’t trust them anymore.

      I am not hearing from any direction that the 99% are greatly worried about the dreaded Fiscal Cliff, just the wealthy and Repubs (and of course the MSM). So though the parade of fear lingering CEOs in the media continues, they are so disliked and distrusted, they are not gaining any traction.

      It’s kind of amusing to see them trying to push a panic button repeatedly that isn’t connected to anything as far as the 99% are concerned.

      • Kalima says:

        It’s not the first time, great minds and all that.

        The thing is that obviously they think no one remembers that they did it not so long ago, in fact they do it with just about everything. Just posted a link to the continuing saga of Benghazi, well actually it is just continuing for McCain and Graham as the rest of the world goes about their more important business, and those of us who pay attention know that the Repubs thrive on it because they have little else going for them.

        To me they seem like someone who keeps ringing on the bell, then banging on the door, and finally screaming abuses even though there is nobody home to hear them or answer the bloody door. The GOP are over, and in their place are diminished dwarves, banging on the bottom of table legs and nipping at the ankles of people who can walk very fast to avoid them. Losers as far as the majority of Americans have come to understand fully with this last election, and the events that led up to it.

  7. AdLib says:

    Here’s a video that will perfectly explain to 99% of Americans what happens if we go off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year:


  8. SueInCa says:

    Adlib

    Great piece. I had read another piece at the LA Progressive that went into great detail about this “fiscal hill” Heck it is not even a hill but what the powers that be count on is the dumbed down Americans who know nothing and will believe without searching out info for themselves. They always have and they always will. That is why it is up to people like you, Kalima, Bito and KQ to build new channels of info. Sooner or later the big guys have been swallowed up and are no longer worried about any semblance of the real truth. The only trouble with bloggers is some do not try to find the whole story and that is a shame. I have experienced this on Daily KOS a few times and I don’t like being told only half the story because the other half is not going to be pleasant. Just tell it all.

    The last bastion of half truths showed their true colors during this election season, MSNBC, so there is not much on cable I trust. I still catch Democracy Now but that is about it and even if I watch MSNBC, I still do not take them at face value. If I miss something, someone is going to inform me and then I can research it for myself.

    • AdLib says:

      Sue, you are so right! This fear mongering in hopes of stampeding Congress worked for the corporations when they wanted to ram TARP through, they’re just going back to the well again.

      Scare Americans and Congress into deferring to corporations and the wealthy on how to put out a fire that doesn’t really exist.

      Yes, I’ve found the same problem on non-HP major blog sites (HP is a while other story) like DK, articles are published that make declarations, based on only part of the truth and sometimes, just assumptions or rumor.

      Putting aside modesty, The Planet and its bloggers have a pretty solid track record on fully researching topics and providing links and/or documentation that backs up articles. That’s pretty cool to me.

      Otherwise, when I read articles at other sites, I try not to put credibility into them based on where they’re posted as opposed to who is posting them.

      As strange as it may be, it has fallen a great deal on the independent bloggers and sites to sniff out and share truths that the MSM camouflages or passes over for sensationalism and exploitation.

      As you know, I’m with you. The cable news business is a corporate profit-first business and can’t be blindly trusted. MSNBC has some good people but that channel also jumped on the exploitation, fabricating bandwagon (Romney may win the popular vote, all polls could be wrong, razor thin race to the end, etc.).

      I watch MSNBC less than I used to and have my BS detector on at all times. It’s not always deception that’s at play, sometimes it’s exploitation of anger at Repubs as well as fear of them. Other times, it’s self-promotional stuff.

      The tv news business is very cynical indeed.

      • SueInCa says:

        Yeah we are pretty much on the same page, I was not as sure about Obama as you were but on everything else, we both knew what was going on.

        I have a friend who sometimes likes to exaggerate and I caught her a few times embellishing a story I think trying to get me going. On one of those stories I innocently asked another friend on FB about a supposed race that had Dean Heller a clear winner and she said No it has always been close polls. I just shook my head and hoped this first friend read the comments. She is really a sweetheart, she just likes to create an imaginary debate sometimes.

        • AdLib says:

          Some folks do get addicted to conflict…and when there’s none naturally occurring, they have to create it.

          That’s the MSM without a doubt but there have always been people who do it as well.

          As you say, it doesn’t mean they’re “bad”, for some it’s the way they’ve come to engage with people.

          • SueInCa says:

            I think that is her in a nutshell. Her husband is a Republican so she does have some in family conflict but for the most part he is still a 1960’s republican. So her stimulation has to come from me. I don’t mind, it keeps me on my toes :-)

  9. kesmarn says:

    Hear! Hear! AdLib! The 99% really have darn little left to lose in this game of chicken. Something the 1%ers should have thought of before they plundered what little wealth the middle class had managed to accumulate.

    Wasn’t it in “Julius Caesar” that Shakespeare had a character who issued a warning about people with that “lean and hungry look”? “Such men are dangerous…”

    Why wouldn’t they be?

    In an attempt to motivate myself to de-clutter, I’ve been watching old episodes of the TV show “Hoarders.” It’s always interesting when the clean up crew comes across something like an old Kool-Whip container, minus the lid, and wants to throw it out. The hoarder’s face will pucker in extreme anxiety as he/she tries to imagine life without the precious Kool-Whip container. In the end it’s “no.” Can’t live without it. It’s as though, if that one little item is lost, it’s the same as losing everything.

    I think the very wealthy are like that. Even though they would never miss that little 4% of their bloated incomes in reality, they panic at the mere thought of losing anything at all. If a little bit is gone, it’s ALL gone — to them.

    The only difference between the two scenarios is that the people on “Hoarders” are guaranteed psychiatric help.

    So — with you — I say: “Full speed ahead. Roll right on over that cliff.” Due to the weird optical illusion that wealth creates, “bottom” is a lot closer to “us” than it is to them.

    • AdLib says:

      Kes, so much to like in your comment!

      Very nice pick on the Shakespeare quote! The 99% do indeed have nothing to lose by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. It corners the Repubs and the wealthy into tax increases and the Repubs into a vte for tax cuts for 98%…or voting against tax cuts.

      As for the Hoarders analogy, man, that’s right on the money. Those who are so wealthy like Romney ARE hoarders, they hoard money and they are as obsessive about it as the woman and her Kool Whip container. Nailed it!

      I am indeed hoping the Repubs bluff themselves into letting the end of the year come with no deal, I don’t want to see a deal before the Bush tax cuts are history.

      Then of course, there will be the Obama Tax Cuts, a phrase that will be repeated for a very long time to come…to the displeasure of Repubs everywhere.

    • SueInCa says:

      Exactly Kes. I also hear that Reid is about to hit the nuclear option button. We shall see, but I think many in Congress are just as bad as the 1% in trying to “fool” the rest of us. Like you said, our fall is much shorter than theirs.

      I say let it expire, Republicans were counting on being in power to fix this and that is why they told us “this election is the most important of your life”. Trouble is we all listened and the choice to lead us into change was President Obama. The Republicans lost on so many levels during this election. Could not happen to nicer obstructionist people.


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