Over The Cliff: Us And Them

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Like many Americans, I rose to greet 2013 with a renewed sense of hope and a belief that the new year would bring forth joy and success. Following a couple of aspirin and three or four cups of coffee, I actually began to think my optimism might stem from more than just whatever booze was still pumping through my system. (Note to self: absinthe = bad.) Maybe 2013 will be the year that decent Americans rescued our beloved Nation from the clutches of President Barack Obama and his accomplices. Against the rising tide of statist crimes like Obamacare and the Democrats’ war on the Bill of Rights, we red, white and blue stalwarts will press our government to steer the ship of state away from the storm-tossed seas of class envy, racial animus and outright crimes into which Obama has steered us.

I made it as far as my morning news roundup before I realized my rosy view of the coming year really was just the booze talking. As a present to those of us whom they purport to represent, the U.S. Senate gave us the proverbial crap sandwich. With a very mere 8 “nay” votes, the upper house of the Nation’s Legislature passed a plan to avoid the “fiscal cliff,” a plan which may push off the spending sequesters for a month or two but simultaneously serves to push the rest of us into the gaping chasm of budgetary excess.

89-8. That was the final vote count. Although the plan, supposedly constructed by Vice President Joe Biden, will avert financial calamities for Obama’s “green energy” cronies and the dependent-class minions who have repeatedly traded their individual rights for a vote (or two, depending on who drove them to the polls) for the Democrats, the plan really hikes taxes and spending while offering almost nothing to the regular Americans upon whom this and every other flimflam ultimately comes to rest.

Forget about the economy-crushing punishment the deal inflicts upon the most successful among us — punishment that will reverberate through the economy in the form of lost jobs, lost revenue and lost hope for the Nation’s future. Instead, focus on that vote count: 89-8. Most Republicans joined their Democratic partners in crime in passing a so-called compromise that compromises only their own respectability. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the deal, which spans 157 pages, costs $4 billion in tax hikes per page. The ratio of spending hikes to tax relief comes in at 41-to-1. With Majority Leader Mitch McConnell behind the wheel, the Republican Senators may not have robbed us of our money and dignity; but they certainly drove the getaway car.

While I’m willing to offer kudos to those great eight who stood their ground on our behalf, I’m hardly dancing a jig over the House following suit in butchering this abominable compromise deal and feeding it to the hogs. We needed someone to play King Leonidas and his Immortals. Instead, we had House Speaker John Boehner and a bunch of Congressmen who would look really stupid dressed as Spartans. And in the late-night hours of New Year’s Day, the House wall cracked and crumbled; the Republican-led House voted to approve the deal, 257-167. Ostensibly conservative Representative Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) described the fiscal cliff avoidance boondoggle as the “safest bet.” What Barletta left out was that he and his fellow Washington wire-pullers are betting with our money.

At this point, I should probably tell you all to contact your respective Congressmen and remind them just who it is who really signs the checks around here. But the lesson we should all be taking from Washington’s ham-fisted handling of the fiscal cliff negotiations is the virtually complete lack of respect most of the people in that godforsaken city have for every single one of the rest of us. We’re not witnessing the usual partisan Republican versus Democrat political theater. We’re witnessing the politicians teaming up to stick it to the rest of us. Should my Congressman choose to continue to toe the line, I’ll contact him from the ballot box. Remember this moment. Obama and his liberal cronies are waging war on our most basic freedoms. And when the time came to stand fast at the proverbial battle of Thermopylae, the Republicans didn’t run away. Worse, they turned and joined the onslaught.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.