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Fiscal Cliffhanger – Did You Really Think They Wouldn’t Reach an Agreement?

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By Jay Zimmer

It was very late on New Years Night when the House of Representatives met to consider an eleventh-hour deal. It was a pact to prevent the U.S. Government from toppling over the fiscal cliff.

High drama, indeed. And just about as real as the last episode of N.C.I.S.

Did you really think that the members of Congress would allow the government to plunge over that cliff?

Probably not.

That’s because you know, as well as they do, that failure to make that deal would mean a hefty tax hike on Americans who can afford it least. And it’s those self-same Americans, you know, those who would be taxed to death by a “no deal” vote, who would be called upon to re-elect those who didn’t get the job done. Those members of the Capitol Hill gang know that without a deal their jobs will go the same way as the Titanic.

Basically, Congress was playing a game of “deal or no deal” with your money. They decided – with a flourish of the dramatic – that a deal would have a greater impact on their chances for re-election the partisan bickering that has characterized recent news from the Hill.

Did you really think that the deal was a hastily contrived, eleventh-hour, just-in-time, WHEW kinda thing?

Come on!

The news channels are now discussing the “tack-ons,” items added to the end of the cliff-hanger bill which may or may not have to do with the original bill but which become a part of it as a compromise for this or that or the other member of Congress. Those tack-ons will affect you and me in some way – and we probably won’t know how until the hammer drops. That’s Congress with their version of “Gotcha!”

In the meantime, though, we are supposed to think, “Well, thank goodness that the Senators and Representatives found it in their hearts of gold to put aside the petty infighting and, Just In Time, pass a bill that saves us from higher taxes and a government default. They are our heroes!”

Did you really think…?

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