The Fiscal Cliff is boring. Been there, done that. But there is a fairly hidden side that is important and isn't talked about.
The imaginary cliff (which Paul Krugman says should be called, more accurately, "the austerity bomb", a term that at least is more exciting, as well as more accurate, though I like "The Republican Job Killing Cliff" ) is a simple move by Republicans to get tax cuts for the wealthy and chip away at Medicare and Social Security. (They can't eliminate the two programs completely because the public wouldn't stand for it, as Bush found out, so they use 'deficits' as a chisel and hammer.)
But it's a Republican win-win. They get to try to attack the economy, while at the same time draw all the attention and effort away from job creation. They did it last time – the public discussion was all about job creation and then in a matter of a couple weeks it was totally about the deficit, and the imaginary cliff isn't the only bit of legislation that they've used in this manner.
Obama won. Democrats gained seats in the U.S. Senate. Democrats gained seats in the House of Representatives. (In fact, the Democratic Party got far more votes for House seats than did Republicans. Republicans got more seats because of their anti-democracy reshaping of House districts, called gerrymandering; they actually got a minority of votes when you add all votes for a national total, something that should be publicized to the high heavens but isn't.)
Two-thirds of the Tea Party puppets elected in 2010 got sent packing. The NRA's candidates mis-fired spectacularly. And we all know the dismal ROI for the billionaires Karl Rove suckered for his big commissions.
Democrats won, and yet there is a lethargy about in the land. Why? Because we're back to the same old Washington bullshit. rather than doing something about jobs. Jobs is all anyone cares about, or at least it's the main thing people care about.
Why didn't the Democrats have a jobs program to announce on November 7th? Or 10th? Or today? Why have they slipped back into following the Republican agenda of distraction? The Republican position would be very harmful, of course, but say so and then talk a lot about job creation.
The Administration ran an excellent campaign, though let's race it: Romney was a horrible candidate with horrible credentials. But he was the best of their lot, and got lots of money to run. Now that same campaign intelligence needs to be put to work clubbing the horrible Senate Minority Leader and Speaker of the House. The Republicans tested a few excuses for less than a week and finally hit on the re-use of the 47% theme. Now they say the 51% got gifts and voted for more gifts. Goofy, sure, but their people will buy it – even the ones that are part of the 47%. Irony is not a concept that exists in Republican brains.
We should have had an instant comeback against the incompetent businessmen who promise to lay off workers and charge their customers more because of the vague costs of Obamacare. Did our bright campaign strategists take a vacation after the election?
Where was the preparation for victory? The shovel-ready plan? Why wasn't a Jobs Bill ready, and making today's news? Why are we still calling it a Fiscal Cliff instead of a Government Shutdown?
Hey. We won, ya know.