Travis Danner is the opinions editor of the Express and an award-winning columnist. His opinions are his own, but we love to publish them because they are intelligent, sarcastic and polarizing. Please, feel free to respond. He loves feedback.
Yes, boys and girls it’s that special time of year again.
That magical time when all the crazy Congresspeople nestle together in their offices and argue about whether they should let the economy fall into the ocean.
Merry Christmas, America, it’s the “fiscal cliff.” You know, that “gift” that the United States government left in our stocking the last time it couldn’t figure out how to pay for itself. Instead of Republicans and Democrats compromising and reaching a deal to create an economy more beneficial to more Americans, they just kicked the can down the road.
To force themselves to compromise, they instead created a ticking time bomb underneath the country’s economic foundation. That’s right, instead of solving the country’s budget problems, they invented a situation where everyone’s taxes will go up — the idea being that they would then have to come to a deal.
Indications are that no compromise is coming.
In a way it’s almost perfect, as the behavior of this country during the holidays has become much like what we see out of our elected representatives whenever they’re in session.
Christmas has, over time, begun to display some of the worst in people. The greed, the self-interest and the rabid, angry consumerism. Both in our people and in our government.
All this craziness is so contrary to the spirit of Christmas. It used to be that the holidays were. Might I suggest splitting Christmas in two?
In the future, we should celebrate “Fiscal Cliff Negotiation Week” a whole week’s holiday to happen every year starting on “Black Friday.”
In the week that would follow, America, as a nation, will have to accomplish two things. The first would be to get all of it’s holiday shopping done in those seven days. No other special holiday deals will offered until the next year.
Simultaneously, it will be required, by law, for the United States government to pass a budget. If it doesn’t, the consequences will be the same as what might happen this year — tax rates will go up for almost everyone and the economy will go right back in the toilet. Then we as a nation can go back to our new favorite pastime — deciding which politicians to blame for our problems.
These fiscal cliff negotiations are the perfect backdrop for America to get out all of its pre-Christmas aggression and negativity that gets pent up leading to Dec. 25.
The holiday used to be a quiet time for the world to slow down and see their family and loved ones. Now, it’s a time when people trample over others in a Wal-Mart to buy overpriced gifts for the families they should probably be at home spending time with.
With the right marketing, “Fiscal Cliff Negotiation Week,” can mean big business for our country. ESPN can broadcast a “Black Friday Extreme Shopping Show” where thousands of shoppers are lined up in the country’s biggest Target or Wal-Mart, injected with performance-enhancing drugs and let loose in the store. The shopper with the most goods and people injured will be the winner.
News networks can cover the no-hold barred cage wrestling match that will now be required to solve any impasse in Congressional budget talks. Any problems not solved in this manner will be the subject of a duel.
This is all much better than the alternative, the slow, crushing grind of actual budget negotiations. The real result will be either two things, our government will not come to a deal and we will go over the “fiscal cliff” or, they do reach a deal and nothing much changes.
Oh well, merry Christmas.