[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
66°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 21-22
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]


The Rational Center | Commentary by John Zaring
| Tuesday, Dec 11, 2012

Congratulations, Washington, you achieved nothing this past week. Again.

Here’s a recap of things so far. Last week, President Barack Obama’s offer to avoid the fiscal cliff was laughed at by Republican leaders. Then, the GOP countered with its own solution. Well, sort of. All they said was, extend the Bush tax cuts to everyone, including the rich, and somehow they’d magically create $2.2 trillion in new revenue, and by closing special interest deductions and loopholes, vague savings from healthcare and cuts to discretionary spending. Other than bullet points, they offered no specifics.

Obama wasn’t buying what they were selling, and he laid down the gauntlet, saying, “We’re going to have to see the rates on the top 2 percent go up, and we’re not going to see a deal without it.”

House Speaker John Boehner’s response: “We’re waiting on the president to make a serious proposal.”

Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the two men got together for the first time in 23 days – 23 days until the fiscal cliff is reached. No one knows what happened or if any progress is made, but suffice it to say, if they aren’t talking, that’s a good sign. These guys are both smart enough to know that every day Washington fails to make a deal, things get a little worse.

Who will be blamed if we do go over the fiscal cliff?

Results from a Pew Research Center poll, taken Nov. 29 to Dec 2, showed 53 percent of Americans will blame Republicans, compared to 27 percent blaming President Obama, with only 12 percent faulting both equally.

Republicans, you lose on that one. Again.

While America’s economy is less vulnerable than it was, it is still vulnerable. The global economy, however, teeters on the brink of destruction.

So, while the fiscal cliff is a storm of our own making, should Republicans deliberately slit our collective throats by driving the world off that cliff, “Thelma & Louise” style? Do so, and there will be an evaporation of consumer confidence across the world, along with an evaporation of business decision-making, and that is where the cancer will begin. In fact, it is already happening all across Europe.

I don’t think Republicans are prepared to toss aside whatever confidence the rest of the world has in our political system just to protect the top 2 percent, because Democrats have the public on their side, and Boehner knows it. More importantly, he also knows Congress created this cliff with the short-term Band-Aid it applied to the economy during last summer’s crisis over the debt limit – you know, the GOP’s “dine and dash” threat to skip out on the bills that Congress had rung up – and that debacle had consequences for Boehner’s party in November.

Ironically, despite the inaction of Congress, America somehow remains poised for an economic renaissance. There have been two years of job growth, and the most recent jobs report provides another reminder of why we can’t afford to knock the economy off track.

This report was expected to be weak, with most economists predicting unemployment would rise back to eight percent, but instead the number of employed doubled most expectations and the unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in four years. Now, admittedly, some of the long-term unemployed dropped out of the work force, but other short-term indicators are also looking good: Consumer debt is shrinking, the stock market has grown 13 percent so far this year, construction starts are up, mortgage interest rates are low – making home affordability as good as it’s been in generations, which will attract buyers who have been waiting for the bottom – and corporations are sitting on the greatest amount of wealth in modern history.

And this has all happened while Republicans in Congress play a game of Russian roulette.

The majority of Americans appear to have accepted that it will take the United States several more years to recover the millions of job losses caused by the Bush apocalypse, and that digging out of the cycle of deficit and debt won’t happen overnight. This is why we sent the president back to the White House.

Recent studies by the Congressional Budget Office reinforced Obama’s claims that a combination of slowed spending with increased tax revenue – regardless of whether through raising rates, eliminating deductions and loopholes or both – will lead to a sustained recovery that generates greater revenue for the government by fostering a larger overall economy.

The long-term prospects also support this outlook: We’re in the midst of a domestic energy boom, manufacturing is growing for the first time in decades, and Goldman Sachs recently predicted the stock market could grow upwards of 10 percent again in 2013.

To get there, Congress and the president must take hard decisions, which, by the way, Americans have a right to expect, no matter who is in charge. But first, Boehner and his caucus must recognize that private wealth is built on a foundation of common wealth, which is why the GOP must give up on their prized supply-side economics, at least for now. The polls, whether we’re talking about Obama’s reelection or those taken by news organizations, show that the American people are overwhelmingly with the Democrats on this.

Furthermore, the empirical evidence doesn’t support the Republicans’ “top down” arguments, either. Since the Bush tax cuts, the economy shed jobs at an alarming rate, and the average income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans dropped to levels not seen since 1966-67. Concurrently, wealth was redistributed upwards, with the top 1 percent experiencing an income jump from $4 million per year to $22 million per year in that same period.

Americans have clearly stated that they expect a fairer playing field, so Obama will lead Boehner to the proverbial water of a Grand Bargain. Will Republicans in the 112th Congress allow their leader to take a drink or just say no – again – preferring to wait and see where the proverbial chips fall come January, after the 113th Congress is sworn in?

It is my hope that Boehner will take that drink, because if he’s learned anything over his twenty-something years in Washington, it’s that Russian roulette is a very dangerous game.

Just 21 more days until we have our answer.

 

John Zaring describes himself as a reformed Republican turned moderate Democrat who believes democracy works best when its government actually functions because its leaders are working together. He serves on the Castaic Area Town Council’s Land Use Committee, Castaic Middle School’s Site Council, the Hart District’s WiSH Education Foundation, and he is the West Ranch High School representative on the Hart District’s Advisory Council. A self-proclaimed “New Democrat” a la Bill Clinton, he lives in Castaic with his wife of 21 years and their daughters, Fiona, 16, and Kylie, 12. His commentary publishes Tuesdays.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

3 Comments

  1. EJody says:

    Still blaming Bush instead of Obama’s first term and the supermajority Democrats held– and did nothing with. Sad, but yet another typical Democrat. Until Mr. Obama releases his cavalier my-way-or-the-highway bullying and accepts at least a tiny smidgen of responsibility for his colossal failures, what exactly would compel Republican leaders to cave in to piling taxes onto America’s job creators, sinking the boat we are all riding in, while wrecking America’s healthcare system and our military’s readiness all at the same time?

    Please tell me when the GOOD part of this plan kicks in for Americans.

    Every economist with half a brain has concluded that that taxing the “rich” (and it is ridiculous to lump in a couple in CA who own a home and struggle in their business to make $250,000 as being “rich”, equating them with the multimillionaires in Congress like John Kerry, the Kennedys, Cuomo’s, and Obama’s) will not even put a tiny dent in our deficit. That is NOT how the deficit will be corrected. There is not enough income there to do it. It’s a political ploy to appease his constituents…rob from the rich, give to the poor, redistribute wealth!

    The only man in D.C. playing Russian Roulette with our nation is the man most similar to socialists living in Russia: Barack Hussein Obama. And I don’t blame the Republicans not wanting to make a deal with the …. (I’ll let you finish the sentence.)

    • anonymousred15 says:

      You must not have any clue what its like to support 4 people on an annual income of 29k. If you are “struggling” at 250k, then your business management/accounting skills must be lacking.

      I think you are living in another world compared to the one the rest of us are in. Did you forget, like most other conservatives, about the eight years of nearly constant spending that Bush and the republicans had? It seems that you did. Two wars, medicare drug plan, tax cuts….none of which were paid for. But that’s okay, right? Because he was a republican, right?

      You and others who share your shortsighted and misguided opinions know nothing of the real america. Its in shambles because of Bush

  2. Kale says:

    The reality is that I elected my congressman to fight tax increases, balance the budget and reduce the debt. I do not care what other people voted for, as all branches of government are equal and are beholden to their constitutes.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
We are quickly approaching the culmination of the year-long celebration of our city’s 30th anniversary. It is truly a time to celebrate all the hard work, dedication, perseverance and passion that took our City from being a tiny portion of Los Angeles County to the thriving third largest city in the county.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
This month marks an exciting milestone for the premier arts and entertainment district in Santa Clarita.
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
Kaepernick has never spoken of personally experiencing any negative interactions with the police. Appearances are he had a pretty nice life provided by people with white skin while living in a country that presented him with obvious, mind-boggling opportunities.
Thursday, Sep 28, 2017
Despite its close proximity to the city of Barstow, Rainbow Basin remains virtually undiscovered. It is well worth a visit. Visitors to the area can find scenic opportunities for hiking, rock scrambling, camping, photography, sightseeing and horseback riding.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2007 - Buckweed fire chars 38,000 acres, destroys 21 homes in Canyon Country and Agua Dulce [story]
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a sexual assault suspect was arrested Thursday night. Plus, some great weekend events. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, October 20, 2017
Forever Fit SCV, a Santa Clarita sports and personal fitness training company, will host a "Pumpkin Workout" at its Centre Pointe location on Saturday, October 28, starting at 9 a.m.
Oct. 25: Pumpkin Workout Benefits American Cancer Society
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m.
Oct. 25: Hart School District Governing Board Meeting
The LA County Public Defender has won the Silver Eagle Award for its Public Defender Jail Liaison Program during the 31st Annual Productivity and Quality Awards Ceremony on Oct. 18 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
LA County Public Defender Soars with Silver Eagle Award
The Los Angeles County Health Officer has issued a heat alert as high temperatures have been forecast for the Los Angeles Basin on Monday, October 23 through Tuesday, October 24.
Heat Alert for SCV, L.A. County on Monday, Tuesday
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has received three major gifts toward the creation of the museum in Los Angeles, bringing fundraising to more than $300M, nearly 80 percent of its $388M campaign goal.
Motion Picture Museum Nears $388M Campaign Goal
Caltrans added nearly 1,200 lane miles of pavement repair and 66 bridges to its growing list of projects to be delivered sooner than planned, thanks to the imminent influx of revenue from the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017 (SB 1), the transportation funding and reform package passed in April.
Nearly $3.4 Billion in Transportation Projects to Be Accelerated
The city of Santa Clarita and SCV Veterans Memorial, Inc. invite the public to attend a special ceremony unveiling the new Fallen Warriors Monument at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on Wednesday, November 8 starting at 10 a.m.
Nov. 8: City Unveils Fallen Warriors Monument in Newhall
Crime Prevention deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station along with Los Angeles County Probation Department officers conducted probation compliance searches Friday throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
SCV Deputies Check Probationers, Aid in Domestic Violence Call
Here is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's public safety report for Canyon Country (West), aka Zone 7, for October 2 through October 8, 2017
Crime Blotter: Robbery, Grand Theft in Canyon Country West
A suspect has been arrested in the investigation of an alleged sexual assault, according to Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station officials.
Suspect Arrested in Alleged Sexual Assault
Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States and a concern the California Highway Patrol addresses with its "Start Smart" program.
CHP Helps New Drivers with ‘Start Smart’ Classes
The California High-Speed Rail Authority punted one of the most important decisions during its monthly meeting Thursday, stoking concerns the entity is not moving quickly enough on the $64 billion project.
California’s Bullet Train Board Delays Award of Key Contract
An extensive investigation by the county of Los Angeles Department of Consumer and Business Affairs in conjunction with the office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has resulted in a lawsuit announced today by the Attorney General against retailer Curacao.
AG Sues Retailer Curacao for Allegedly Preying on Consumers
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]
CHESTERFIELD, MO — NewGround, a St. Louis-based experiential design-build firm, recently teamed up with Logix Federal Credit Union to work on a large scale facility project, a new corporate headquarters building for the full-service credit union in the Burbank, California area.
Valencia Will Soon be Home to Logix Federal Credit Union Headquarters
The CSUN women's volleyball team (10-9, 4-3 Big West) opens the second half of the Big West season this week as the Matadors head up the coast this week for road tests at No. 23 Cal Poly (17-2, 7-0 Big West) and UC Santa Barbara (4-15, 3-4 Big West). CSUN, coming off a tough five-set loss to Hawai'i at home, is 3-4 in seven road matches this season but has won two of three Big West road contests.
Matadors Volleyball Testing Their Skills on the Road
No. 5 College of the Canyons defeated L.A. Mission College 3-0 on Wednesday to earn its eighth consecutive match and fifth straight sweep. Set scores were 25-15, 25-11, and 25-20.
Cougars Volleyball Earns Fifth Straight Sweep
CSUN Women's Soccer (7-4-5, 3-1-1 BWC) looks to move up in the Big West standings this week as it hosts UC Irvine on Thursday at 7:00 p.m.
Matadors Get Ready for Big West Matchups
Behind Julio Rubio's goal in the 11th minute CSUN defeated UC Riverside 1-0 in Big West Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night.
Matadors Lone Goal Enough to Hold Off UC Riverside
Northridge, CA – CSUN Athletics officially opened its new satellite athletic training facility on Thursday at an event featuring Athletic Director Dr. Brandon Martin, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Medicine/Head Athletic Trainer Steven Grech, student-athletes, coaches, staff and campus partners.
Matadors Student-Athletes Welcome New Training Facility
Want unique gifts and a shopping experience unlike any other?
Nov. 18-19: City’s Annual Two-Day Fine Craft Show
City officials gathered Wednesday for the Grand Opening of "Three Oaks," the first 100 percent affordable family development in Santa Clarita.
Affordable Housing Comes to Santa Clarita
The Gibbon Conservation Center will celebrate Halloween for the first time on Saturday, Oct. 28 from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Oct. 28: Gibbon Conservation Center Celebrates First Halloween
California State University, Northridge is partnering with the California State University Entertainment Alliance to host a morning of workshops designed to offer students and members of the public advice on building successful careers in the entertainment industry.
Oct. 23: CSUN Workshop; Succeeding in Entertainment Industry
Spotlight Arts Center, a local non-profit that provides free performing and visual arts classes to children in the Santa Clarita Valley, will hold its Fall Festival, Sunday, Oct. 22 from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Oct. 22: Fall Festival Spotlight Arts Center
The College of the Canyons Athletics department is inviting all players, coaches and cheerleaders associated with a Santa Clarita Valley youth sports league or cheer organization to attend Saturday's Cougar football game free of charge.
Oct. 21: SCV Youth Teams Invited to Free COC Football Game
College of the Canyons freshmen Joanna Roecker and Cassandra Lee both turned in scores of 79 to lead the Cougars to a second place team finish at the Western State Conference (WSC) event hosted by Glendale College at Brookside Golf Course on Monday.
COC Falls Short at WSC Glendale
Beginning Monday, October 23, 2017, the city of Santa Clarita will increase the frequency of street sweeping throughout all areas of the City.
Oct. 23: City Begins Increased Street Sweeping Frequency
In a battle for Western State Conference, East Division supremacy, it was College of the Canyons that came out on top Tuesday night, as the Cougars scored two second half goals to secure a 2-0 win against visiting Antelope Valley College. Justine Hoeft and Jennifer Roney collected goals for the Cougars (11-2, 2-0).
COC Secures Win Against AVC With Two Second-Half Goals
The upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Buckweed Fires offers Santa Clarita residents a reminder of the ever-present fire danger in Los Angeles County, as blazes ravage the northern half of the state, as well.
Officials Reflect on 10-Year Anniversary of Buckweed Fires
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station, with help from a Smartphone GPS system, were able to locate a lost hiker Wednesday night at Towsley Canyon.
Smartphone GPS Locates Lost Towsley Canyon Hiker
Dreamation Craft Guild will be hosting a boutique at Canyon High School, Nov. 18, from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. to benefit the family of John Phippen, the Santa Clarita resident who was killed in the Las Vegas shooting.
Nov. 18: Holiday Marketplace Benefiting John Phippen Family
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – To ensure drivers, passengers, and children are properly restrained while traveling California’s roadways, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) has partnered with the California Office of Traffic Safety on a new traffic safety campaign entitled, “California Restraint Safety Education And Training” (CARSEAT).
CHP’s New Traffic Safety Campaign Focuses on Saving Lives, Reducing Injuries