Our elected officials have not done their job, which is to come up with a budget for our country. The result is that we have a fiscal crisis because they have failed to work together and accomplish the task the Constitution mandates.
Congress under both Bush and Obama could not agree on anything, so they set up temporary solutions to budget problems. Those solutions are about to expire. That means “we the people” will suffer for their failure to come up with a budget, which is their duty under the Constitution.
The bottom line is that Congress has failed us. That includes Republicans and Democrats in both the House and the Senate. Now the problem they created is about to hit, big time.
The so-called “fiscal cliff” is enormous and devastating. If nothing is done, sometime shortly after the first of the year (no one can seem to give a straight answer as to when) it will all hit. What will happen?
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says about $700 billion will automatically be cut from federal spending, and taxes will go up for everyone at all income levels. That’s just for starters.
The impact will be immediate on everyone with a pay check. Obama’s temporary payroll tax reduction will be gone, which means everyone with a paycheck, even people who do not file a tax return will see their take home pay reduced.
All the Bush tax cuts will be taken away, which means the tax cuts on income and investments, impacting married couples and families with children will be gone raising the taxes for everyone who files a tax return.
It is estimated that 26 million of us will face the alternative minimum, which would raise their taxes by an average of $3,700, which is according to the CBO.
The military will be cut by 9 percent ($55 billion), and domestic programs will be cut by an equal amount.
Long-term unemployment benefits will be taken away from the jobless.
Medicare will cut payments to providers very sharply, which means doctors even fewer doctors will take Medicare patients.
In addition to these and other sudden hits to the economy, the government is running out of money – again. The borrowing cap of $16.4 trillion is going to run out and so we can expect another fight over that issue.
The bottom line is simply that the nation is in deep, deep financial trouble because our elected officials have failed to do their job for many years. It is not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem. It is a problem caused by politicians who have been unwilling and unable to work together to keep our country financially whole.
Call your member of the House and your two Senators and tell them you expect them to get the job done without some temporary band aid the way they have done before.