A couple of months ago two elites were arguing with each other trying to convince the other, themselves, and the nation that they were not elite. One argued that although he is in the 2%, he identifies with the 98%. The other argued that he could never identify with 47% of the nation. (At least he could identify with 53%, I guess he reasoned.)
One man promised to rid the world of bayonets and to stop playing Battleship. The other threatened to kill Big Bird. (Who knew that, all along, it was Elmo we should have feared?) Each had a plan. One plan was unidentified. The other plan was to keep doing what has not worked for the last 4 years.
During that time, mutually established Facebook friendships were ripped apart and Twitter overthrew all things traditional as the news media king.
Also during that time I wrote that whoever won our hearts — with the razor thin margin of a mandate it was clearly going to be — had some very, very difficult decisions to make regarding the economy. A poll revealed on NPR today that a large majority of Americans agree we should increase revenue and reduce spending to decrease the national debt crisis.
Enter the “Fiscal Cliff.” What is it? This Fiscal Cliff is a series of very drastic spending cuts and tax hikes that are set to go into place in 2013. As the media stirs up fears about the Cliff, as both sides argue that the other is marching us recklessly over the Cliff, I say: Rappel the Cliff!
Americans rally around such cries as “Raise the Revenue!” & “Cut Spending!” & “Repeal the Looming Cliff!” Yet this Fiscal Cliff against which they cry is the full dose of increase in revenue and cuts in spending they also cry for. Decades of irresponsible spending have led us down this path. We have hiked this unblazed trail to the top and have found a Cliff.
We can’t turn back time. We can’t backtrack down history’s trail. We can only wait so long for the Mayan’s prediction to hold true. We can gaze at the dark skies expecting an alien ship to rescue us from the Cliff. Or we can boldly man up to the Cliff, peer down its craggy edge and rappel.
America, maybe its time we Rappel this Fiscal Cliff.
© 2012, Dr. Phil Bryant
Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.