Harrop: The politics of threat failing for GOP
The people are sad. If holiday shopping is any measure of public mood, the joy vanished this year. The grade-school massacre depressed everyone, and now our rapid approach to the “fiscal cliff” has many scared and afraid to spend money.
The fiscal cliff is a phony crisis dropped on us by the politics of threat. Rather than further their goals through the normal process, so-called conservatives are using threats against the economy to get what they want. They tried it during the debt-ceiling fiasco of 2011. They’re trying it now.
The cliff is itself the result of that scandalous threat by the Republican right to let the United States go into default as a “negotiating tool” to force cuts in programs. To avoid economic catastrophe, the sides agreed to automatic tax increases and spending cuts, starting on Jan. 1, if budget deficits haven’t been dealt with by then. They haven’t. Removing $500 billion from a still weak economy could send us back into recession.
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