Views from the ‘cliff’ may surprise


I don’t like looking over the fiscal cliff as conjured by our politicians.

Before the elections, it bothered me enough that I was thinking a total turnover in politicians might be the better thing for the United States.

I especially was thinking that Romney needed to be elected for the good of the country, no more Obama. But apparently some folks disagreed with me.

I was afraid that with more Obama and his like, the economy was going down the tubes. It might be time to sell stocks, and hoard cash.

But, with what sense I still had, I asked Cousin Jim what he thought. Jim is only four months younger than me, but unlike me, he is totally retired after a career as a bank officer and stock broker.

I hate to admit it, but when you look at us old coyotes, I’m the one who’s not as pretty with the blunted teeth while Jimmy is sharp in all ways. That’s between you and me. Don’t ever let him read this.

Jim said it made very little difference economically whether Romney was elected or whether Obama was elected. He just wasn’t very effusive with his normal Republican tendencies.

He said the economy and stock market would get a temporary charge if Romney was elected just because of the change and perceived advantages.

But he added that in reality it would make very little difference which man was elected because most of the talk about them being in charge of the economy has nothing to do with reality.

It’s just garbage.

The president’s real economic powers domestically, he said, are limited to connivance with congressmen, who have more real monetary power, on how they plan to tax us.

This assumes that a president doesn’t bumble us into another war, which can become a real drag on everything, and that the programs he manages by executive order aren’t allowed to prolificate or pornicate, according to your point of view.

Of far more economic importance, Jimmy said, is whether the politicians will take us over the “fiscal cliff,” their term for the event that makes them seem more magnificent on Jan. 1.

If you don’t follow the news, to simplify the definition, that means if Congress and the president don’t put tax increases or budget cuts they prefer into effect before Jan. 1, automatic cuts and tax increases go into effect that are predicted to severely impact the economy into recession.

Fiscal cliff, if you want to know, is a term invented by politicians to make themselves look more magnificent. That could be very painful if they drag the rest of us off it.

If they can pass a compromise, no matter who won the election, Jim said the country is headed into a prosperity that may top anything the nation has ever known.

Of top importance, with horizontal drilling opening up new natural gas and oil supplies, the United States is headed toward being the world’s top energy producer between 2017 and 2020.

Added to this, Jim said, this country continues to lead the world in technological and Web innovations.

We may even learn how to control our carbon dioxide output to help lower or increase the temperature of the earth—as long as we are smart enough not to put the master hot-air politicians totally in charge of it.

Just to see if my Republican-leaning cousin knows what he’s talking about, I called his Democrat-leaning successor, Rex, to see what he agreed with.

“Yup,” he said, “Jim has it right.”

In the second economic gospel according to Rex, it’s that fiscal cliff on Jan. 1 that looms large. “All else is fluff and yack.”

The politicians have to choose something that is “right” for the country before the plunge over the cliff that will leave them behind on any credit for an eventual economic surge that will occur anyway.

All they can do with their interference is slow the surge.


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