Lame Duck Fiscal Cliff

November 17, 2012

It’s a curb, not a cliff. Panic will not ensue; except, perhaps, among the commentariat, but their hair’s on fire most of the the time anyway, while the rest of us, appropriately, go on about our lives. Even so, lame duck sessions rock. Let’s compare mandates: Republicans claim “success” in safe cngressional districts crafted in states they control. The President, having won the electoral and popular vote, points out that his determination to eliminate tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires could not have been more clear; adding that this policy receives broad support even among those who voted for Gov. Romney.

If the Republicans choose to die on this hill, they just might. Lame-duck Republicans will do their colleagues a favor by accepting this minor adjustment – remember, millionaires receive the same tax breaks the rest of us do on the first $250K they earn (something’s better than nothing) – and by passing the Dream Act. The filibuster rule in the Senate ought to be changed, too (if we must have filibusters, supporters should be required to stand before the Senate and continue to hold the floor until they pass out – it’s too damn easy now).

Meaningful and effective Campaign finance reform should also be passed. The Supreme Court’s Citizen Union decision unleashed the plutocracy’s Kraken. Corporations aren’t people. Money isn’t speech. At the very least, full disclosure and transparency must be required. Make ‘em put their mouth (and name) where their money is.

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