The fiscal cliff. Have you heard of it?
It's only this little thing that's looming in less than 60 days that threatens to raise taxes, cut spending, and potentially throw us into recession. It's a set of provisions that would automatically kick in if Congress does nothing by the end of the year. The net effect is that 4% of the GDP could be at risk.
That's 1 out of every 25 dollars spend, transferred, or otherwise used in our country.
And it's at risk.
You'd think that it would be a huge deal. While it has gotten it's share of media coverage, I don't feel it's gotten anywhere near enough.
And the coverage it should be getting should focus directly on those who are allowing this deadline to tick closer and closer: Congress.
The House and the Senate are the ones that need to act to address the fiscal cliff. Yet they haven't. They've done nothing.
While, it's agreed that something will be done, the prevailing thought is that the current Congress will put in a stopgap measure and make the next Congress come up with the solution. And, they'll likely do it at the very last minute, leaving uncertainty in every facet of the economy, from businesses to consumers to foreign nations.
If this sounds awful, it's because it is. To have let things come this far and to expect them to go further down the road before it's dealt with is absolutely inexcusable.
But guess what?
Tomorrow is your chance to address this. Because most of the people that are currently in office and have the power to do something about but are choosing not to: They're up for re-election tomorrow. All seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the seats in the Senate are up for vote tomorrow.
They've been sitting back loving the fact that the Presidential election is taking the forefront, because they can sit back and do practically nothing, and get away with it.
But they shouldn't.
These people are those that we elected to be leaders. By avoiding something that could take away 4% of the economy in our country, they are not leading.
Before you go to the polls tomorrow and before you simply re-elect whoever is in office, take an extra few minutes and really think about leadership. The President is definitely a leader and should be given proper consideration as to whom you feel is best to lead the country. But, take those extra few minutes and think about the other ‘leaders' that are on the ballot. In the long run, they have just as much to do with the operation and direction of the country as does the President. Please don't, for a single second, devalue the importance of voting for the members of Congress that will represent you for two or six years.
Once it becomes clear the impact that 4% of the economy could have (and that impact WILL become clear after the dust settles from the election, mark my words), it will also be clear the importance of having the right men and women in the Capitol building to address this. It's important to ensure that we have true leadership there. Don't realize this after it's too late.
Are you voting? Do you feel the incumbent members of Congress have been given a pass this year because of the focus on the Presidential election?