Forward! Obama powers us over the fiscal cliff after all

The fiscal cliff compromise designed to prevent massive tax increases did exactly the opposite. It was all part of the plan. Photo: Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Co., January 6, 2013 ― The Democrats powered through an awful tax and spending bill on January 1st. His mission accomplished and apparently suffering from vacation interruptus, Obama powered his way back to Hawaii.

The rest of us are left wondering what happened.

Congress should have taken the time to debate the bill. The House should have debated it, possibly offered amendments, and sent it back to the Senate. The senate was reportedly given the bill just three minutes before the vote. The “greatest deliberative body in the world” didn’t deliberate.

Now Majority Leader Reid is even trying to change the rules of the senate to prevent fillibusters. Why bother?

The liberal establishment created such a sense of crisis and impending doom that the House GOP leadership just folded. Emily Miller of The Washington Times summarizes the problem best: “Members in both chambers and both sides of the aisle need to re-read the founding document because their actions show they’ve lost touch with their purpose.”

It is easy to criticize, and many conservative organizations have criticized Speaker Boehner. It is telling to note that while in the run-up to the “deal” liberal media reported that Obama had already made concessions enough to anger his base, post-deal that base has been conspicuously silent. Well, except for Nancy Pelosi who said today that there wasn’t enough revenue in the deal, but that’s really an early salvo for the next crisis.

Not that the criticism isn’t justified: it is. If you get the Speaker’s Tweets or emails, or even listen to what he says – as opposed to the press’ reporting what he said – he is generally on the right track. But the pressure-cooker that is D.C. is hard to fathom if you don’t live or work inside the Beltway. The same thing happens on a smaller scale in state capitols. Legislators are in constant contact with lobbyists, special interest groups and other legislators to the exclusion of their constituents and everything else. It takes a person of very strong character to resist, and the longer they are in D.C. the harder it is to see the world the way the rest of us do.

They constantly read the mainstream media to see that is being said about them and to find out what the issues are. Therein lays the power of the media: It doesn’t matter that you and I out in fly-over country don’t read the Washington Post or the New York Times; politicians do. And they take their cues from it.

What were the cues in the fiscal cliff crisis? That the whole economy would come crashing down if the Bush-era tax levels were not maintained for the 99% (later changed to 98%) and the “rich” were not taxed more.

In the end, what really happened? We’ve all been taxed more. It has been the biggest tax hike in at least twenty years, along with more spending and special carve-outs for favored liberal groups like Hollywood. Some of the major provisions, according to Wall Street Journal reporting:

Top personal income tax rate: 35% to 39.6%

Estate tax: 35% to 40%

Capital gains and dividend taxes: 15% to 23.8%

Medical device tax: zero to 2.3%

Payroll tax: 10.4% to 12.4%

ObamaCare payroll tax surcharge: zero to 0.9%

This list includes taxes under Obamacare that conveniently and quietly have gone into effect after the election.

This was no compromise: This was almost complete surrender. It was surrender under the pressure of a manufactured crisis. Liberals feed on crisis. There’s no time to think—just act! Act they did. In haste and without the reasoned debate that would have produced a better solution.

All Congress would have had to do is slow down, take a deep breath and think first. However, the purpose of the manufactured crisis is to prevent reflection and debate.

The next crises are already cued up: gun control, then the debt ceiling as we lurch from crisis to crisis. By now we should be able to see how this all works. Behind the scene there is the Agenda. As events permit, the pieces are brought out in the media, where a one-sided debate occurs. One-sided because the debate occurs within the liberal establishment; We the People are mere spectators. Having agreed on their foregone conclusion, the already-prepared legislation is brought out and passed to much fanfare.

Sen. Feinstein, for example, said her staff has been working on her gun control legislation for over a year. What went unsaid is that she was waiting for the right tragedy to introduce it. When it is introduced on January 22nd, will there be debate?

If this all sounds like the fix is in, it’s only because it is in. There are multiple layers of reality to penetrate—one might call them multiple layers of deception. One Red Pill might not be enough to expose them all.


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Al Maurer

Al Maurer is a political scientist and founder of The Voice of Liberty. He writes on topics of limited government and individual rights.

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