I agree with a lot of what everyone has said. I blame both parties for failing to compromise. Lobbyists and special interests--especially corporate interests--have corrupted the political process.
I don't think it's fair to blame ordinary Americans. We usually have two choices at the ballot box and they're BOTH bought and paid for by moneyed interests. Third parties are a potential
solution but haven't gotten very far in the past. Not voting seems like the worst option of all.
What kills me about the fiscal cliff in particular is that the debt isn't even the most urgent problem we face
. After helping to get the economy back on track and making sure our current generation can get the education they need to keep America competitive--and many other serious and urgent priorities--I'd rank the national debt way behind these in terms of importance.
Get the economy back on track and tax revenue will increase dramatically as it did in the 50s and the 90s. That'll make it possible to reduce the budget deficit and to better manage the national debt. But attacking the debt directly has never worked in real life. Feel free to provide me with an example from history if you think I'm wrong about that.
To me, focusing on the debt when the economy is still weak and unstable is like focusing on a leaky roof when the house is on fire. Yeah, the roof has to be fixed, but don't you think maybe it would be better to put out the fire first?
But that horse left the barn with the debt commission and now the two sides have to work out a compromise on debt reduction. That's what politicians are SUPPOSED to be good at, right? Making deals? As I understand it, the Republicans want 50% of the deficit reduction to come from new taxes and 50% to come from spending cuts, while the Democrats want 55% taxes and 45% spending cuts. SPLIT THE F#@KING DIFFERENCE, YOU IDIOTS! /soapbox