December 28, 2012

The Capitol Dome is seen through the glass of  the Capitol Visitors Center on Capitol Hill this week. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

It’s a lonely day here in the PostScript bunker, the year’s last Friday falling right before a holiday weekend.  Even the prospect of Fiscal Godzilla crushing us under his mighty foot on the other side of the holiday weekend hasn’t mustered up close to our usual number of comments around here.  It’s a bit like shouting into the void.

Which is particularly apt, as today’s fiscal cliff editorial seems to be doing the same thing.  PLEASE, it begs Congress and the president, PLEASE avoid the fiscal cliff. Begging is all we can do at this point — maybe it was all any of us not on Capitol Hill could do, but we’re doing it now. Hey, Congress, we’re begging you. This will really screw things up AND prove that you are simply incapable of even stopgap emergency measures to save the darned economy.  

Personally, PostScript thinks that the Starbucks gambit was an implicit threat. Hey, if they can write on your coffee cups, they could SWITCH YOU TO DECAF. They could CLOSE.  They could DELIBERATELY NOT RESTOCK their LITTLE CHOCOLATE SHAVINGS.  They could SEE YOU COMING AND MESS UP YOUR EXTREMELY COMPLICATED ORDER. Starbucks is the one with ALL the power here, and a strike — possibly just Capitol Hill, but maybe THE WORLD — would be the only thing that could truly get the seriousness of the situation across.  

But until things get that desperate, commenters have some ideas about how, besides begging and rolling our eyes, we can deal with our lawmakers refusing to deal.  

boblesch‘s plan might be cruel, unusual or kidnapping, but PostScript likes it:

Put them all in the same room and keep [them] there until they have a deal and it’s SIGNED — with no contact with any one from the outside — especially campaign donors and lobbyists.

bls2011 suggests some theatrical maneuvering to make an agreement look like the tax cuts that House Speaker John Boehner’s house seems to insist upon:

The fiscal cliff can be easily avoided and … the House rightwing can also be easily accommodated if they pass a bill which lets the Bush tax cuts expire at 12 midnight and then the “Bi-Partisan” tax cuts roll out at 6 am (or thereabouts) on Jan 1st. These tax cuts would be on the first $250,000 of income for all Americans so 100% of Americans would get tax cuts.

For that matter, PostScript wonders if renaming any idea “tax cuts” would make it acceptable.  RadicalGlove thinks Jan. 1′s effects won’t be that bad, giving us more time than we think to solve this:

I am glad for the Post’s call for the adults in the room — however few — to step up.  
That being said, we will not turn into pumpkins on January 1. I don’t see this resolving until January 10th, give or take a few days. Hopefully, the markets will not panic in the interim. it is the possibility of market panic that worries me more than anything else.

Phoenix44 thinks the deadline passing will actually make it easier for a deal to happen:

The ‘cliff’ (austerity bomb) Jan 1 deadline isn’t the big deal the media make it out to be. A cliff implies that it can’t be undone.
 Come Jan 1, Congress will pass measures restoring tax rates to 2012 levels for most everyone except the supra-wealthy. Military funding will be restored.
 It’s not like all the effects of the ‘cliff’ will be felt on day one. They’re going to do it a piece at a time, giving the Republicans much less leverage, which is good seeing as they live in an alternate reality. Well, GOP, welcome to OUR reality. It’s been a few decades since you’ve been here, so some disorientation is to be expected.

While a stopgap, last-minute, emergency deal would frighten LillithMc more than no deal at all:

Sorry, but I don’t want serious decisions like the amount of my Social Security check thrown around on the table while the US is under threat of default by some reckless tea party members controlling the house through their partisan gerrymanderings. Obama was tossing big numbers around recklessly while the Republicans were playing rope-a-dope. The Supreme Court prefers corporations and the wealthy have unlimited secret money for power over elections. There is nothing here for the average working American beyond being bullied by Grover Norquist and the NRA. The “fiscal cliff” is just another way to make sure the US is no longer a viable economic country. China cut our credit rating because we are dysfunctional with no credible plans for the future. Too true.

Desertstraw agrees.  The need for a stopgap, emergency, last-minute deal is only because of the last stopgap, emergency, last-minute deal:

Go over the cliff. Any “deal” patched together in three days would be fatally flawed. One thing that should be emphasized more in news reports is that this whole mess resulted from a previous “deal” between Obama and the Republicans, Budget Control Act of 2011. Instead of legislating properly then, they agreed to legislate responsibly later with the fiscal cliff as the big stick to make them do it. The big stick hasn’t worked yet.
 
The new congress will be a better congress based on the quality of people elected. Especially because of gerrymandering by Republican state legislatures, the Republican right wing is still overrepresented. However we can hope that with better leadership from congress and more responsible media, the American people will demand responsible legislating from congress. There will continue to be no leadership from the White House.

ejhickey chimes in, presumably representing most of America:

stopped in to say I don’t give a [----]!

roskoreh responds, indicating ejhickey might represent one specific part of America:

Are you a GOP rep?

 

Seriously, Starbucks.  We appreciate the full-page ads, but it’s time to get serious.  Switch them all to decaf.