Another fiscal cliff?
In the political climate, March could come roaring in like a lion. Unlike the hypothetical lion of weather, the political monster could leave gaping economic and social wounds.
That's because major budgetary fights are virtually assured over the next two months between Democrats and Republicans.
In reality, whether it's called this or not, another fiscal cliff is on the horizon.
Here's some of the things coming up:
• The debt limit will be maxed out by the end of February or early March.
• The $1.2 trillion sequester is set to go into effect March 1.
• Government funding for the current fiscal year expires on March 27.
President Obama has already indicated he wants the debt raised; that there's little room for negotiations on the matter.
Obama said it would be Republicans' fault if the debt ceiling is not raised. He invoked scare tactics, stating it would mean people might not receive their Social Security or disability checks, the government would stop functioning and international investors would question U.S. economic strength.
The Republicans, meanwhile, want deep spending cuts. One published report says they want an additional $1 trillion of spending cuts in addition to the $1.2 trillion sequester.
Meanwhile, there's the threat of a complete government shutdown.
Obama has emphasized that he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. He wants Congress to raise it with no strings attached.
Not negotiate? How can he be so closed-minded about such a vital matter? These are the same politicians sticking their nose in the problems of other countries, and begging peaceful resolution, while admitting they don't want to talk to their peers in Washington.
Can we continue to raise the nation's indebtedness? Is it fair to our children and our grandchildren? Shouldn't we begin tackling the debt problem?
How can we decrease the national debt?
For one thing, reduce the size of government. Repeal some of the ridiculous environmental regulations imposed on fossil fuels. The recently adopted regs are stymieing economic recovery. We have plenty of coal, natural gas, and other resources we could develop.
Also, we could cut back on our foreign aid. It's understandable that some foreign aid is essential. It's at the point where we need funds ourselves for creating jobs, revitalizing our infrastructure, or, in general, helping ourselves. We could quit butting into the affairs of so many other countries.
TV legend Sally Starr is a perfect microcosm of our government. Starr had a great television career in the 50s and 60s, and made a lot of money. She had a supersized heart, though, and financially assisted anybody she could. She gave away all the money she made and by retirement age she was broke and declaring bankruptcy.
She never recovered financially.
Even a country as great as America has only so much money it can give away. It's time for this country to take care of its own people.
We can cut the deficit. We can do it without harming our Social Security recipients. It takes common sense.
It means keeping more at home and sending less abroad, by reducing the bloat in government, and by cutting government bureaucracy and over-regulating to let Americans again be productive beings.
If the politicians decide to throw us over a cliff this coming March, it's assured there will be very turbulent times ahead.
By RON GOWER