That is probably the biggest take-away historians will keep when they use today’s fiscal crises in future civic’s lessons across this country, precisely in order to teach students just how well put together this nation’s govermnent is…..
I have long blamed the filibustering Senate for intransigence. Whenever we have an emergency, the House passes legislation quickly, and the Senate takes it’s time. Things just s l o w down in the Senate.
I have also blamed that in part upon the old age of Senators, and the cliques that evolve from spending 20 to 30 years together… Senators are more worried about upsetting the feelings of Joe So-and-So instead of quickly passing the House’s legislation. Legislation also gets tabled as a favor to Ms. La-La-La, for a favor she extended 15 odd years ago…
But it is precisely these negatives that allowed the Senate to take up the fiscal cliff legislation that was all-but-dead on arrival in the House….
John Boehner, was forced to give up his lead and capitulate, when his caucus voted down giving even billionaires a tax increase. His caucus had too many Tea Partiers, who were still green behind their ears, and put their own personal principals, … over top the rest of the financial world’s welfare, including the USA….
John couldn’t control his caucus. Why was that? Because the founding fathers wanted the House to be reelected every 2 years. The idea was that these people who were invested with the responsibility of spending the “people’s” money, needed to be directly responsible to those back home, who’s money they were spending! As a result, the Tea Party contingent, whose home-spun philosophy plays well on country porches, has no idea of how things work. We don’t let two year olds drive cars for a reason.
But,…. who did solve the crises and bring both sides into agreement?
The top two members of the Senate, … The Vice President and Mitch McConnell, a Louisville Cardnals fan.
For both, a deal was necessary and they crafted one that would sell. It definitely sold the Senate… 89 to 8…. It sold the problem House of Boehner as well: 257-167 including….. with more Democrats voting for it… 172 than Republicans voted against it… 167.
85 House Republicans voted in support of this McConnell-Biden adaptation, keeping us from going over the cliff before the markets opened up in Asia…. (which at time of print are all up between .6% and 2.2%)..
Through a personal relationship based on a long history of dealing with each other in a non adversarial fashion, a deal was struck. We were clued in two weeks ago that the $400,000 level would be the floor. No surprise there.
But, now it is clear that Social Security will no longer be on the chopping block in two months. Medicare will no longer be on the chopping block in two months. Unemployment compensation (for those dismissed by their corporate employers for working too many hours under Obamacare), now will still dribble some cash to get by. The Earned Income Credit, the best part of the year for anyone earning less than $30,000, is no longer on the chopping block!
For this, the increases in additional taxes on income, estates, and investments, were softened a bit. Even though there will now be less movement of cash from the private sector to the Treasury than occurred under the boom years under Clinton, but… as long as the economy takes off, we can worry about that later.
For that, is why this bill was passed. Signs are encouraging that the economy is getting better, now that the world KNOWS no Republican (whether he really wanted to be president or not) will run the country.
To nix that up, and again, hurt those who were most hurt before, is unconscionable.
For most Americans, working and living and dying in our towns, this is what is important. It never could have happened under the dynamics of the House of Representatives. Only in the Senate, could such an agreement even be possible….
Only there buried within the term of 6 years, is enough distance available to exercise good judgment on what is necessarily right for this country, then have time to deal and fix the political repercussions back home… Only there is an opponent also a dear friend, one you take seriously and trust, causing you to give up a little more on both sides.
Only there. Once again, we see the great wisdom possessed in those we call The Founding Fathers…. Who could have known?