How Americans were conned about the 'fiscal cliff'

  • Article by: MICHAEL HILTZIK , Los Angeles Times
  • Updated: January 5, 2013 - 7:59 PM

Americans of all walks of life should be asking themselves this question: How do we like being conned?

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hermajestyJan. 6, 13 3:10 AM

Furthermore, anyone who is a deficit hawk conveniently ignores several points.

1) Two wars fought almost entirely on borrowed money for 13 and 11 years, respectively,

2) We're not Spain or Greece, not even close, no matter what they say on the radio. Not only that, Spain isn't Greece, and Greece isn't Spain. Spain actually had a low deficit until its housing market collapsed.

3) No modern country functions without some level of debt. That's what government bonds are.

4) Comparisons to a household budget are bogus. First of all, a household that is in financial trouble will not only cut expenses but also look for new sources of income, such as a second job or selling assets. They may forego a vacation or new clothes, but they probably won't throw anyone out to freeze to death in a snowbank. Second, even the most careful household probably has some debt in the form of a mortgage, car payments, or student loans.

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chuckdancerJan. 6, 13 6:51 AM

The bottom line: it is all political posturing and nobody cares about the country or its citizens. It's a game and we all are the audience.

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my4centsJan. 6, 13 7:56 AM

The writer is hiding the fact that ALL of the changes in tax rates were being pushed for by Obama and the Democrats. The only thing they did not get was the increased rate for those earning between $250k and 450k, and even there he glosses over the part about them losing exemptions and deductions, as if they are insignificant. He also hammers home the idea of a tax increase on those earning $113,700 or less in wages. The truth is, this increases taxes for everyone. Those whose taxes increase the most are earning $113,700 or MORE because they pay higher taxes on the full $113K.

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jimjimjimjimJan. 6, 13 8:02 AM

As usual, liberals can't wait to jump on the wars as being the greatest cause of the deficit, ignoring that A) Defense is one of the primary roles of the federal government as stated in the constitution. B) No where in that document does it grant the federal government the power to confiscate income for the purpose of redistribution. C) No where in the constitution does it grant the federal government the right to give out welfare.

Entitlements have bankrupted this country. Turn of MSNBC and quit parroting their talking heads!

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probsolverJan. 6, 13 8:25 AM

"probably won't throw anyone out to freeze to death in a snowbank" ---- really? Any mention of cutting spending and you immediately go to the most dramatic, unrealistic option. How bout looking at the $40-50 in annual Medicare fraud PBS estimates?

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probsolverJan. 6, 13 8:30 AM

$40-50 B

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beezer1Jan. 6, 13 9:37 AM

"As usual, liberals can't wait to jump on the wars as being the greatest cause of the deficit, ignoring that A) Defense is one of the primary roles of the federal government as stated in the constitution."

The argument isn't about whether defense is the primary role in the constitution. The argument is about how much of our tax dollars are being spent. We can't afford to be the world's policeman. We have over 600 military bases overseas, this is unsustainable. Our military budget has went from approx 200 billion in 2000 to approx 750 billion in 2012, this is the definition of out of control spending.

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jimjimjimjimJan. 6, 1310:21 AM

"Our military budget has went from approx 200 billion in 2000 to approx 750 billion in 2012, this is the definition of out of control spending" It is the cost of war. Get over it... Wars end, entitlements don't.

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jimjimjimjimJan. 6, 1310:23 AM

"We can't afford to be the world's policeman." Yes we can. Why do you want to turn your back on genocide and human suffering? Weren't liberals claiming "We are the World" at one time and advocating a world without borders? What happened to cause them to look away at the suffering around the world and ignore the atrocities being committed by dictators?

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SnippetJan. 6, 1310:27 AM

>>> Furthermore, anyone who is a deficit hawk conveniently ignores several points. 1) Two wars fought almost entirely on borrowed money for 13 and 11 years, respectively, <<< I'm a deficit hawk and I don't ignore this point, so you need to amend you assertion thus, "anyone who is a deficit hawk except for one guy on the star tribune website conveniently ignores several points. However, defense spending is necessary, up to a point, and reasonable cuts made to it will not balance the budget, since defense spending is not the biggest piece of the budget pie by a long shot.

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