“Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together. ”
It’s not a secret that most Americans are not seriously concerned about America’s political process. Its common knowledge and everyone in politics must adapt accordingly. Politicians and their political advisors must take into account that most Americans only care about kitchen table issues - their family’s income, health care, and education. So process issues, as they’re called, such as Congressional gridlock are rarely made campaign issues. Therefore, they are perceived as lacking importance.
But we are on course to economic catastrophe in which it will be utterly apparent that process issues, like Congressional dysfunction, affects us all. Congressional dysfunction, specifically political gridlock, is driving us over a “fiscal cliff,” as Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke calls it.
“The risk of a potential economic train wreck stems from a series of contentious political decisions that Congress has been ducking for years, postponing a long list of tough choices until the end of the year, until after the national elections.
Now, unless a compromise is reached, sharp cuts in federal spending will remove hundreds of billions of dollars from the U.S. economy, virtually overnight. At the same time, American consumers will see a massive increase in taxes that will sharply curb their spending power, taking another big bite out of the economy.
Economists and budget analysts have offered up various estimates on just how badly the economy would be damaged if Congress fails to act in time. The combination of the tax increases and spending cuts would amount to more than $6.8 trillion over 10 years, according to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a non-partisan think-tank whose board includes former members of Congress and budget directors.
The Congressional Budget Office predicted earlier this year that the full impact of those tax hikes and spending cuts would remove about 3.5 percent of gross domestic product, more than wiping out the current recovery. That would send the unemployment rate, which stood at 8.2 percent in March, to 8.9 percent by year-end and 9.2 percent at the end of 2013.”
Perhaps even more worrisome than the scheduled "cliff" in federal taxing and spending is the timetable lawmakers face to prevent the worst-case scenarios from playing out. Given the potential changes in party leadership for both Congress and the White House, chances appear slim to none that any decisions will be made until after the November elections. That leaves Congress and the White House roughly eight weeks - punctuated by the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve holidays - to prevent the economy from falling off the cliff both sides have created.”
If Congress does not resolve these issues in time, our economy will recede back into a recession. Nothing could wreck more havoc on kitchen table issues than this. And it would be the same thing as a self-inflicted wound. It will have occurred because those in Congress could not compromise and do what’s in the best interest of the country. The solutions are apparent we just need Congress to stop putting partisanship before patriotism.