Don’t forget folks, the fiscal cliff was created by the GOP: it is entirely artificial. There is a long-term debt problem: there is no debt crisis except one made up for partisan purposes. No, we are not on the verge of “becoming Greece.” Simply a lie. Not to mention the fact that going over the cliff we have few immediate consequences. Going over it will be an expensive nuisance, but it will be easy enough to climb back up if it is done in a month or two. You want to make serious cuts spending? Okay! Where? Defense? Law Enforcement? Maintenance of infrastructure? Support for the elderly and sick? Abandoning our air and water and soil to contamination by people who can afford to live upwind? Cutting means suffering to somebody. Who do you want to suffer? It is no surprise that the GOP refuses to make any specific offers. They want the cuts to be made — but only if they can coerce the democrats into making them, so they can then blame the democrats for cutting the wrong things. Some folks say liberals are people who just want free stuff at other’s expense. Yet all the liberals I know are perfectly willing to get less and pay more if that’s what the country needs. I don’t hear many conservatives saying that, but perhaps they are out there. They’ll talk about hard choices and painful measures, but only for the other guy to suffer. Once again, my challenge to all deficit hawks: Tell us what spending or programs (or tax deductions or subsidies) THAT BENEFIT YOU PERSONALLY do you want to cut? Or do you only want this “terrible problem” to be solved if you don’t have to lose a dime solving it?
I’ll start. I’ll give up my itemized tax return in favor of the standard deduction. No more deductions for my mortgage interest or my charitable gifts. What I won’t give up are those things that support folks who aren’t as lucky as I have been. Your turn.