While the U.S. economy is said to be en route to go over the so-called "fiscal cliff" on January 1, Congress has made little headway in the process of reaching a solution, though there were indications of compromise over the weekend. Unless a compromise is reached, the American people will experience an onslaught of tax increases and spending cuts that the Congressional Budget Office says will set the economy on a downward spiral.
Since Senator Saxby Chambliss' defection on Thursday from his Taxpayer Protection Pledge, two other senators and a member of the House have also bailed, claiming now that tax increases must be "on the table" to solve the fiscal cliff crisis.
Jesse Jackson Jr., Democratic congressman from Illinois and son of the “civil rights” agitator, has resigned his House seat, citing ill health and an ongoing federal investigation for what Jackson referred to as “my share of mistakes.” While the investigation reportedly involves the misuse of campaign funds, “Jackson was also under a House Ethics Committee investigation over dealings with imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich,” reported the Associated Press. Although the committee could still release a report into its findings, Jackson's resignation will prevent Congress from taking any action against him should it be revealed that he committed any wrongdoing.
President Obama's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has embraced the “Buzz Lightyear” debt strategy to overcome the fiscal crisis known as the “fiscal cliff”: to infinity and beyond. Geithner told host Al Hunt on Bloomberg TV's Political Capital on November 16 that he favors elimination of the statutory debt limit.
Citing “a pattern of behavior directed at subverting transparency,” the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is requesting information from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administrator Lisa Jackson concerning secret e-mail accounts she and other senior EPA officials are allegedly using to circumvent federal openness laws.
Following his office’s publishing of his annual Wastebook last month, Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has now released another oversight report, this one exploring waste and “non-defense” spending in the Department of Defense (DOD), entitled the “Department of Everything.”
After spending more than two decades in Congress vigorously standing up for liberty, peace, sound money, free markets, and the U.S. Constitution, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a hero to constitutionalists and libertarians all over the world, offered a stark warning about the dark future facing the United States and the American people without dramatic changes. However, the message was not all gloom and doom. In fact, there was also a sense of hope evident in his historic farewell speech.
Still, the immediate future will be turbulent and filled with peril, Rep. Paul warned, saying we live in a “dangerous period.” Economic implosion and widespread poverty resulting from central monetary planning, never-ending wars and widespread government intervention in the market will lead to a tragedy of epic proportions, he explained. Tyranny may reign as the final vestiges of individual liberty are stripped away.
In its latest 14-page report on the impact the “fiscal cliff” would have on the economy in 2013 and beyond, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) provided enough ammunition to both sides of the debate to guarantee a standoff in Washington. It would have simplified matters greatly if Doug Elmendorf, the CBO’s director, had simply said: “Pay me now or pay me later. You decide.”
Opponents of the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) should be encouraged by the outcome of Tuesday’s Senate elections, according to Patrick Goodenough of CNSNews.com.
As of last summer, 34 Republican senators, led by Sen. Jim DeMint (S.C.), had gone on the record opposing ratification of the treaty. Although Democrats gained two seats in the election, giving them an eight-seat edge over Republicans (10 if one includes the two seats that will be held by independents caucusing with Democrats), the number of LOST opponents has probably increased by two, Goodenough calculates.
But many LOST opponents suspect Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) will try to ram the treaty through during the lame-duck session before the end of the year — seemingly more probable now that the number of anti-LOST senators is certain to grow when the Senate convenes in January.