Only a fool would think that the same Congress that got us in this mess can get us out of this mess.
The fiscal cliff is the byproduct of multiple congressional compromises to kick several different cans down the road. Now they've all landed in the same spot. Both sides are trying to kick multiple cans at one time and are kicking each other instead.
What's really going on in Washington right now is Republicans are in theater trying to look like the reasonable party. They want back in the good graces of the American public and want to at least save some face when polling says they'll probably get blamed and their position is unpopular.
They might as well give it up. They're going to get the blame no matter what happens. They are disjointed with bad spokesmen. One is orange and the other . . . well . . . .
They might as well dive.
Their position improves on the other side as does the baseline from which they are arguing.
From 1982 to 2012, the federal government has had seventeen debt and deficit commissions. The national debt has gone from 1.14 trillion to $16 trillion. Each time, the tax code has grown more complicated and spending has never really been cut.
Today, they tell us we need a balanced approach of tax increases and spending cuts. The so-called fiscal cliff does just that. It is exactly what they've always said we needed and now they don't want it. The truth is they don't want to cut spending. Neither side really does. They structured their last deal to fail so they could scare the American people.
That's what they are trying now as they all shuffle around to sound reasonable as fear mongers. Meanwhile, the President is offering nothing substantive and has walked back from his claims of 3 to 1 spending cuts to tax increases. He just wants the tax increases and nothing else. Again, spending cuts won't happen if the GOP takes the deal. Nothing good can come of negotiating further. The GOP should pass what they want and promptly go home. Let the Democrats stay and sort things out.