And now, we have March 1, a day which should go into the books as a conservative day of fasting and thanks. A day which should be a holiday forever celebrated as Saint Ayn the Fountainhead’s resurrection and ascension into Republican Heaven. (Saint Ronnie the Gipper having been lately demoted on the basis that he was soft on immigration, raised taxes, talked to Democrats, and was once in a union.)
It is no coincidence that lone wolf heroes win the (evermore) bloody day at the end. The bad choices, unfortunate casualties, and reckless good fortune are reduced to simple plot points on the road to heroic accomplishment.
The fiscal cliff, like its parent the debt ceiling, is an arbitrary creation; a crisis of convenient contrivance. Both parent and child were born of power politics, with no connection economic or financial need. The 2011 confrontation over the debt ceiling produced a series of debt reduction spending cuts known as the sequester. These cuts were seen as “fiscally responsible”, despite the macroeconomic nonsense of massive spending cuts during a slow recovery. A year later, those that saw the sequester as fiscal responsibility, acknowledged the fiscal irresponsibility of the sequester.
Why not adopt this notion of regulation as the cornerstone of a balanced and thorough response to the universal problem of gun violence? Why not pass a federal model law, in the mode of the Uniform Commercial Code, that states could vote on individually? Why not also amend current health law to renew our focus on treating (not stigmatizing) mental health?