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

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 18
1919 - Swall Hotel in Newhall burns down (corner Main & Market, now Work Boots) [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.


  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...
Friday, Mar 16, 2018
Thursday, Mar 8, 2018
A wildfire stripped the banks of Placerita Creek of its thick, lush blanket of green – exposing thousands of shoots of the evil tamarisk.
Friday, Mar 2, 2018
In her March 2018 message, Mayor Laurene Weste outlines why Santa Clarita is a tech-savvy "smart city" and previews coming upgrades in street lighting, recycling stations and the local fiber-optic network.
Thursday, Feb 15, 2018
There was broad public support for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which struck a careful balance between lands available for large-scale renewable energy development and the environment. Now the federal government is rethinking it - putting the important and much-needed protections at risk.
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018
You can prevent vision loss by finding and treating problems early. Medicare covers a glaucoma test once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma
Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018
Sierra Club Angeles Chapter SCV Group Chair Sandra Cattell urges Santa Clarita Valley residents to contact their congressional representatives to push legislation to kill the Cemex mining project in Soledad Canyon.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1919 - Swall Hotel in Newhall burns down (corner Main & Market, now Work Boots) [story]
1927 - Newhall telephone exchange, est. 1900, now serves 100 phones [story]
The 2018 SXSW Film Festival, which runs from March 9 to 18, announced its Jury and Special Award winners on Tuesday with CalArts alumni taking home some of the top prizes.
CalArtians Earn Juried Prizes at 2018 SXSW Film Festival
Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club "Youth of the Year" Lluvia Partida was among the young people vying for regional "Youth of the Year" honors at the annual County Alliance award ceremony Tuesday night.
County Boys and Girls Club Alliance Names 2 ‘Youth of the Year’ Honorees
Newhall School District administrators will host an information/enrollment meeting for families that may be affected by the possible closure of the Einstein Academy at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School on Wednesday, March 21, starting at 6:30 p.m.
March 21: Newhall School District Info Session for Einstein Families
The SCV Chamber of Commerce-sponsored NextSCV group for young business professionals ages 21-40 will tour Scorpion's new Valencia headquarters on Wednesday, March 28 starting at 5:30 p.m.
March 28: Young SCV Professionals to Tour Scorpion HQ
The Bureau of Land Management has made available for public review a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and draft Land Use Plan Amendment that aim to manage dispersed recreation visitation over an extensive area in the Mojave Desert.
BLM Issues EIR for Mohave Desert Use, Seeks Public Comment
The TMU Mustangs men's basketball team lost to Peru State College 106-104 in overtime at the NAIA Division 1 National Championship tournament opener in Kansas City Wednesday night.
TMU Men’s Hoops Team Upset by Peru State in First Round
The Master's University doubled up the University of Antelope Valley 8-4 on a cloudy and cold Wednesday afternoon in Placerita Canyon.
Mustangs Stop UAV Pioneers in Their Tracks 8-4
After standing toe-to-toe with the perennial powerhouse Freed Hardeman Lions, the Mustangs didn't have enough left in the fourth quarter and fell 71-51 in the NAIA Women's National Tournament Wednesday.
Mustangs Fall to Freed Hardeman at Nationals
College of the Canyons starter Joy Veloz struck out nine batters and the Cougars pounded out 10 hits to defeat conference rival Antelope Valley College 7-2 at Whitten Field on Thursday.
COC Softball Team Claims 7-2 Victory Over Antelope Valley
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has implemented a one-year pilot program to assist Metro-certified Small Business Enterprise, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise firms secure sufficient bonding to work on Metro construction projects.
LA Metro Launches Program for Small, Disadvantaged, Veteran-Owned Firms
The Golden Oak Adult School will host its second annual Open House at the school on Tuesday, March 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
March 27: Golden Oak Adult School 2nd Annual Open House
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $2.7 million payment to the family of a man fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy in Santa Clarita on January 14, 2016.
Supes Settle Suit for Wrongful Death in Santa Clarita for $2.7 Million
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, March 20, starting at 9:30 a.m.
March 20: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Local developer Pardee Homes will host a grand opening paw-ty for the new Dogwood Park dog park in the Aliento neighborhood of Canyon Country on Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
March 17: Dogwood Park Grand Opening Paw-ty in Canyon Country
The nonprofit Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation will host a "Wild for Animals" benefit at Centre Pointe Plaza in Santa Clarita to raise funds for the Castaic Animal Care Center on Saturday, May 19 starting at 6 p.m.
May 19: ‘Wild for Animals’ Benefit for Castaic Shelter in Centre Pointe
2003 - Life-size sculpture honoring heroes of St. Francis Dam disaster unveiled in Santa Paula [video]
Campus Compact — a Boston based non-profit organization working to advance the public purposes of higher education — has announced the 268 students who will make up the 2018 cohort of Newman Civic Fellows. Among them is California State University, Northridge graduate student Lilia Gonzalez.
CSUN Grad Student Among 268 Awarded with Newman Civic Fellows
Academy Award-nominee, Angela Bassett will join Kathleen Battle as a guest narrator in Battle’s program Underground Railroad: A Spiritual Journey accompanied by pianist Joel Martin and the LA-based choir, The Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers at the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (The Soraya) on Thursday, March 29 at 8:00pm.
March 29: Angela Bassett Joins Kathleen Battle at The Soraya
The next Canyon Country Advisory Committee meeting will be held Wednesday, March 21, from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m., at the Mint Canyon Moose Lodge Family Center Banquet Room, located at 18000 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country, 91351.
March 21: Canyon Country Advisory Committee Meeting
There are a few seats left in ARTree's Junior Arts Sampler (ages 5 - 7) and our Arts Sampler (ages 8 - 12) classes which start next week.
Seats Still Available for ARTree’s Arts Sampler
Confronted with a wide range of complex challenges to enrolling residents in need of food assistance in the CalFresh Program, the Department of Public Social Services (DPSS) has launched a comprehensive community outreach and education campaign to address the increasing threat of food insecurity in the most populated and culturally-diverse county in the nation.
CalFresh Launches Community Outreach to Reduce Food Insecurity
After clawing its way back to within a pair a runs, College of the Canyons couldn't get any closer, instead dropping a 17-9 decision to conference rival Citrus College at Cougar Field on Wednesday.
Canyons’ 9 Runs Not Enough to Hold Off Citrus College
Thanks to Senate Bill 85 the California State University (CSU) announced the distribution of more than $2 million across its 23 universities to support student success and the CSU Basic Needs Initiative.
CSU to Distribute $2.5 Million in Effort to Fight Student Hunger
The Santa Clarita City Council recognized the Salvation Army’s Santa Clarita Valley Corps at the Council’s meeting Tuesday night.
Salvation Army’s SCV Corps Lauded by City Council
The Santa Clarita City Council invites the public to attend a demolition event at the site of the future Canyon Country Community Center, located on the corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway, on Tuesday, March 20 at 10:30 a.m.
March 20: Demolition Event at New Canyon Country Community Center Site
Washington, DC - On Thursday, Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) introduced H.R. 5307, The School Training, Equipment, and Protection (STEP) Act.
Knight Legislation to Implement Specific School Safety Measures
Recognizing California State University, Northridge’s strong commitment to regional economic development, CSUN has been named an Innovation and Economic Prosperity (IEP) University by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU).
CSUN Recognized as Innovation, Economic Prosperity University
Max Maitland hit a tie-breaking, two-run homer and the bullpen combined for over five innings of one-run ball as The Master's University doubled up the University of Antelope Valley 8-4 on a cloudy and cold Wednesday afternoon in Placerita Canyon.
Mustangs Improve to 17-10 with Win Against Antelope Valley
MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - Effective immediately, all Bureau of Land Management-managed public lands within the California Desert District shall be under Stage I restrictions and year-round fire restrictions. Recreational shooting restrictions applicable to the California Desert District, issued on May 26, 2017, have been terminated as of March 13, 2018.
Bureau of Land Management Now Under Year-Round Fire Restrictions
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Before Wednesday night's NAIA Division 1 National Championship tournament opener, Master's assistant coach Thomas Lowery and senior Lawrence Russell came to an understanding.
No. 1 Mustangs Knocked Out in First Round of NAIA Tourney
AlphaKidz International S.M.A.R.T. Academy is conducting a shoe drive fundraiser on March 19 to raise funds for their new school building.
March 19: AlphaKidz International Shoe Drive Fundraiser
The Santa Clarita community will once again show their support for a great non-profit, WiSH Education Foundation while sampling 44 chilis on Tuesday, March 20.
Tickets Still Available for 6th Annual Charity Chili Cook-Off
Princess Cruises announced a new culinary shore excursion program in collaboration with the number one food lifestyle brand, Bon Appétit, offering guests the opportunity to indulge in culinary experiences inspired by their surroundings while cruising to destinations around the globe.
Princess Cruises Partners With Bon Appétit