Tag Archive for Fiscal Cliff

Flim Flam Man


It is becoming increasingly obvious that the President has no intention, nor did he ever intend to “make a deal” to avoid the looming budget crisis. That it was always his intention to raise everyone’s taxes to the level they were before President Bush cut them should be clear for anyone to see. The so called “fiscal cliff” was set up as result of negotiations between Jack Lew, his Chief of Staff and a former Citibank COO, and Congress during the last crisis over raising the debt ceiling. As a result of the negotiations, if no deal is made, taxes revert to their pre-2001 levels, social security withholding goes up by 2% of earnings, and there will be automatic cuts in defense and other areas of the government. All of these are outcomes favored by the President and his party. He knows that raising taxes on people earning under $250,000 per year will raise three times as much cash for the government as raising taxes on the higher earners. That why the deal was set up this way. All he has to do is say “no” to whatever the Republicans offer and he gets what he wants: more money for his programs, less money for defense and he can blame it on the Republicans.

All of the talk about protecting the “middle class” and taxing the wealthy that he fed the voters during the campaign was a smoke screen covering his real intention which was to simply raise everyone’s taxes. Like any good con, this one worked by making the mark, in this case the middle class voters that voted for him, believe they were going to bilk some other guy, in this case the over $250K set, out of some money, of which they would get a share in the form of government services for which they don’t have to pay. Being the good flim flam man that he is, the President had those voters, more commonly known as suckers, looking at what his one hand was doing while he was lifting their wallets with the other.

Anyway, it’s done now.  Oh, just so you don’t feel left out, for all you social security oldies like me, he has proposed a 5% cut in benefits. I know a lot of you voted for him. Congratulations on a job well done!


Keeping the lights on and the bills paid is part of what is commonly known as housekeeping and is one of the jobs of the head of the household. If there is insufficient income to pay the bills, the head of the household has to either reduce expenses, increase the household income or both. Since there are other people in the household who have an interest in these matters, their input is important, particularly if one of the other members is a spouse with a co-equal voice in such decisions.  The discussions regarding what expenses to cut and how to increase the family income will very likely be unpleasant, possibly acrimonious. Nonetheless, it this the responsibility of the head of the household, and remember that he not only took that job voluntarily, he actively sought the job, to resolve these differences and get the problem solved. Leaving town and complaining to friends about the intransigence of other members of the household is not an option. It is showboating and the action of an adolescent, not an adult.

Housekeeping is not glamorous or fun, but it has to be done if the other things the family wishes to do are to be possible.  The American family can’t go to the moon and Mars, cure disease, help the less fortunate, protect the natural world, fight for freedom or do any of the other more exciting and glamorous things we would prefer to do if we can’t keep the lights on. It is time for the head of the household to return to the kitchen table, sit down and hammer out a plan that will keep the lights on. He won’t like the final plan, nor is it likely that the rest of the family will either; but in the end, everyone will be able to live with it.