[Chart courtesy of MarketWatch.com]
Fears about the looming fiscal cliff are taking on a new dimension as there is exactly one week left for the President and Congress to come together and avoid the mandatory spending cuts and tax increases.
On extremely low trading volume, the equity indexes gave up ground for the second day in a row during today’s shortened session. Despite some occasional jawboning out of Washington, there simply seems to be no willingness on either side to come up with some reasonable solution it all appears to be nothing more than a face saving effort.
For a spot on analysis, including an identification of the guilty party, Mark Grant, author of Out of the Box, has some food for thought in “The Sleeper Must Awaken:”
I am not sure the country is seeking a state of grace but we are surely seeking something of a much higher order than we are getting. Congress adjourns, the President spends twenty million dollars of our money flying off to vacation in Hawaii and we peer over the edge of a monetary cliff of our own making because we have elected people that have all of the leadership skills of some Grinch that is stealing our Christmas because we let him.
Ultimately it is us you know, “We the People,” and perhaps it is our two party system of government that has failed us because we put people in power who know how to run for election and re-election but who somehow have no idea how to govern the nation. It is pathos, absurdity and frankly a tragedy that we face a financial calamity, and it is just that, and our elected leaders head off on vacation.
I have suggested we place hard limits for our social programs and entitlements and work backwards and I believe this would be the prudent course but somehow prudence does not seem to be part of the thinking in Washington these days.
If we said that 25 million Americans could be on food stamps or that only so much can be afforded for Medicare or Social Security then we could start from that point and make the necessary adjustments in terms of who qualified for what or raise the age qualification or allow people in gradually as a result of the limits that were set. Common sense, while never very popular in our nation’s capital, must have been banned in the fine print of some legislative act of which none of us are aware.
The awful truth is that WE are responsible. We elected these people. We condone a two party system where we end up with a choice between the mediocre and the inferior. We are left to choose between the fool and the idiot and the men of character, the people of intellect and those focused on the health of the nation are left behind either because they will not participate or because they cannot survive the taunts and tricks of those that have no other interest besides their own ego and their own self-interests.
I make no apologies. This is our fault and until and unless WE start demanding a government that represents our interests and values and morals that sets-aside America from other nations; we have no one to blame but ourselves. That is the sad truth of it which is why going off our present fiscal cliff may be the best thing that could happen to the United States. We might just wake up!
Have a Merry Christmas!