Monday, October 1, 2012


I suppose this article is meant to frighten.

But to PJ O’Rourke, it might mean getting some of us off the government dole.

Here’s the terror takeaway:

Economists warn that the looming tax hikes, combined with $109 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect in January, could throw the fragile economy back into recession if Washington doesn’t act. The automatic spending cuts are coming due because of the failure of last year’s deficit "supercommittee" to strike a bargain. The combination of the sharp tax hikes and spending cuts has been dubbed a "fiscal cliff."

"The fiscal cliff threatens an unprecedented tax increase at year end," says the report. "Taxes would rise by more than $500 billion in 2013 — an average of almost $3,500 per household — as almost every tax cuts enacted since 2001 would expire."
I suppose, as a family, that we are part of the 47% that Mitt Romney says he can do nothing about, as with child tax credits, a recent history of lifetime learning credits and other tax boondoggles – oh, loopholes -- we haven’t paid income taxes in years. In fact, there are years we get more back in tax credits and such than we actually pay in federal income taxes.

That largesse is set to be reduced if Congress and the president take no action before December 31.

Would that be a bad thing?

Budgets where I work – and I work for a company doing contract work for the federal government – are slim. Chances are if spending continues to be reduced without increased revenue, I will be out of a job. But I’m your typical, stereotyped government worker, you see, so the hard-core Republicans probably regard me as an enemy, though technically I am working for a private company that won a subcontract to a major contractor doing work with the enemy, er, the federal government.

We’re doing the work, folks. In the past seven years, the company I’ve worked for has saved the taxpayers half a billion dollars by getting its contracted work done earlier and far under budget. We’ve shipped waste out of an unsafe configuration, threatening the Snake River Aquifer, helping to keep that source of water and livelihood clean for future generations. And that’s more than hyperbole. That’s the truth.

Maybe it’s time y’all manned up and paid your bills.

Yes, there is government waste. But there’s plenty of waste going on in your average family, if I, too can throw out a stereotype. Plenty of folks out there with cell phone bills in the hundreds every month, cable TV bills also in the hundreds every month – I know, I used to work for a Baby Bell where people were always upset because we wanted them to pay their bills.

I take advantage of every tax loophole that gets thrown at me. I research them so I can take what I can, legally.

If they go away, am I going to whine that my free money is gone?

Probably. For a little while.

Then I’ll head back to work and hope that the rest of you don’t whine so loud I’m out of a job. I’d rather see my taxes go up by $3,500 a year than to see my income drop to about that level, yessir.

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