Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Political Action After the Fiscal Cliff ... More Government Haggling and Noise Accompanied by No Worthwhile Action

We the Minions ain't seen nuttin' yet. Our politicians are not there to do the "people's" work.

The fiscal cliff fiasco was evidence of that. If you doubt what I say, just take a look at what Crony Capitalist Blowout reveals for proof. It is subtitled 'A tax increase for everyone but the favored wealthy few' and reads as follows:

"In praising Congress's huge new tax increase, President Obama said Tuesday that "millionaires and billionaires" will finally "pay their fair share." That is, unless you are a Nascar track owner, a wind-energy company or the owners of StarKist Tuna, among many others who managed to get their taxes reduced in Congress's New Year celebration.

There's plenty to lament about the capital and income tax hikes, but the bill's seedier underside is the $40 billion or so in tax payoffs to every crony capitalist and special pleader with a lobbyist worth his million-dollar salary. Congress and the White House want everyone to ignore this corporate-welfare blowout, so allow us to shine a light on the merriment. . . .

The Senators even voted down, 14-10, an amendment to list the corporate interests that receive tax perks on a government website. This "tax extenders" bill . . . sat waiting until Harry Reid and the White House stuffed it wholesale into the "fiscal cliff" bill.

Thus Michigan Democrat Debbie Stabenow was able to retain an accelerated tax write-off for owners of Nascar tracks (cost: $78 million) to benefit the paupers who control the Michigan International Speedway. New Mexico's Jeff Bingaman saved a tax credit for companies operating in American Samoa ($62 million), including a StarKist factory.

Distillers are able to drink to a $222 million rum tax rebate. Perhaps this will help to finance more of those fabulous Bacardi TV ads with all those beautiful rich people. Businesses located on Indian reservations will receive $222 million in accelerated depreciation. And there are breaks for railroads, "New York Liberty Zone" bonds and so much more.

But a special award goes to Chris Dodd, the former Senator who now roams Gucci Gulch lobbying for Hollywood's movie studios. The Senate summary of his tax victory is worth quoting in full: "The bill extends for two years, through 2013, the provision that allows film and television producers to expense the first $15 million of production costs incurred in the United States ($20 million if the costs are incurred in economically depressed areas in the United States)."

You gotta love that "depressed areas" bit. The impoverished impresarios of Brentwood get an extra writeoff if they take their film crews into, say, deepest Flatbush. Is that because they have to pay extra to the caterers from Dean & DeLuca to make the trip? It sure can't be because they hire the jobless locals for the production crew. Those are union jobs, mate, and don't you forget it. . . .

Then there are the green-energy giveaways that are also quickly becoming entitlements. The wind production tax credit got another one-year reprieve, thanks to Mr. Obama and GOP Senators John Thune (South Dakota) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa). . . . Cost to taxpayers: $12 billion. . . .

The great joke here is that Washington pretends to want to pass "comprehensive tax reform," even as each year it adds more tax giveaways that distort the tax code and keep tax rates higher than they have to be. Even as he praised the bill full of this stuff, Mr. Obama called Tuesday night for "further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can't take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren't available to most Americans."

One of Mr. Obama's political gifts is that he can sound so plausible describing the opposite of his real intentions."

Debt Ceiling Cirscus Is Next

Now it's time for the debt ceiling standoff and more meaningless and phony political theatrics before finally deciding to pay the bills we owe, which in the end we will because we must.

Besides, all the artistocrats have to do to pay them is print more money or borrow it from the Chinese. What's not to like if you're a government knows best aristocrat? It's just OPM.

Accordingly, our fearless, feckless and reckless as hell politicians have scheduled even more fun and unserious games to scare the world and We the Minions throughout the first half of 2013.

Accordingly, my fellow minions,  it's definitely best not to plan on anything serious or realistic coming from our "public servants" which would encourage private sector led economic growth, reduce wasteful or unnecessary government spending, implement much needed entitlement reforms, improve job creation, fix the national debt or take serious aim at the annual deficits. They're too busy playing "unserious" games to do what needs doing. Besides, they don't have the guts to do what's right. It would be too painful for We the People and might jeopardize the political futures of the elected powerful aristocrats.

And as for "saving the middle class," well, the politicians will prefer to "feel our economic pain" in lieu of letting the free market do something to reduce it.

But we elected them, so we're "entitled" to receive exactly what we deserve from their "good work," I guess. Live and learn, in other words.

Liked the fiscal cliff? You'll love these coming attractions has the fun filled government calendar for 2013:

"So, the fiscal cliff brawl is finished. Washington is breathing easy, right?

Wrong. Three more budget-related battles are looming just over the horizon, meaning lawmakers and the White House – not to mention the markets — are already buckling up for the next bumpy ride.

First off, the U.S. debt ceiling. The government reached its $16.4 trillion borrowing limit on Monday, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has begun taking what he calls extraordinary measures to delay further borrowing. But he can only do that until late February or early March.

President Barack Obama repeated on Monday night that he won’t negotiate around the debt ceiling, saying at the White House: “While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up.”

But Republicans aren’t going to play nice with him. The debt ceiling will be their next opportunity to try to get spending cuts they couldn’t during the fiscal-cliff fight.

“Now the focus turns to spending,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement late Tuesday night. “The American people re-elected a Republican majority in the House, and we will use it in 2013 to hold the president accountable for the ‘balanced’ approach he promised, meaning significant spending cuts and reforms to the entitlement programs that are driving our country deeper and deeper into debt.”

Speaking of spending, the fiscal-cliff deal delayed for only two months the deep budget cuts that were due to go into effect on Jan. 1. By punting on the roughly $100 billion in 2013 spending cuts, Congress and the White House set themselves up for a new round of brutal negotiations at exactly the same time they’ll be wrangling over the debt limit.

Obama late Tuesday night blessed the effect of the so-called “sequester,” saying it will save money.

“There will be more deficit reduction as Congress decides what to do about the automatic spending cuts that we have now delayed for two months,” he said.

But it’s almost certain that whatever cuts congressional Democrats come up with and Obama endorses won’t be deep enough for Republicans. So get ready for more haggling.

If the sequester and the debt ceiling weren’t enough, Washington is also staring down a late-March deadline for approving a new budget for government operations. The current stopgap budget — or “continuing resolution,” in Washington-speak — expires on March 27. All this raises the possibility of a government shutdown, something that keeps returning to Washington like a bad penny.

If past is prologue, there will be yet another tug of war over spending and taxes around this next budget exercise. Congress will go right down to the wire before making any decision, unnerving markets."

Summing Up

What a bunch of unserious clowns we have to "do the people's work" instead of genuine public servants.

The sad part is that they're the clowns We the People have chosen to represent us.

My best advice would be to try to ignore all the B.S. coming at you this year, media pundits included.

Because whatever else may be said, if nothing is being done to encourage private sector led economic growth, then nothing good will happen. That's a given.

On the other hand, if you enjoyed watching the fiscal cliff farce, there will be plenty more similar joyful entertainment coming out of Washington the next several months.

Just don't bother to look for any real bipartisan effort toward what we really need to do as a nation --- put in place the foundation and mindset to achieve solid and sustainable economic growth and fiscal sanity in the private and public sectors, respectively.

Thanks. Bob.

No comments:

Post a Comment