Monday, December 3, 2012

The Fiscal Cliff

Depending on what happens in its Congress, the US, said by a European think tank to be the most powerful country in the world, could very well be falling off its Fiscal Cliff. Either that or it could agree to end filibustering and work towards  bipartisanship. 

Seemingly impossible as it may seem, what with the recent tight race for the presidency, bipartisanship between the dominant Republican and Democratic parties is very much realizable. 

In 1940, as Hitler's guns pummeled Europe, then US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a democrat, used his political savvy to change partisanship into partnership with the goal of reaching an agreement on US foreign policy. It worked.

United politically, the US led the Allies in halting Hitler's deathly march across Europe and Africa as well as in ending  Japan's imperialistic ambitions in Asia at that time. 

No such overt armed aggression among major world powers currently exists. But the fiscal cliff may well be the one critical battle within the US that could either propel economic momentum or wipe out whatever fragile gains towards recovery so far achieved. 

According to, the US' gross domestic product grew at an annual average of 2.8% in 2010 and 1.7% in 2011 after a dismal 1.1.% in 2008 which further plummeted to a negative 2.6% in 2009. 

Congress had at least once put its best foot forward and worked together, regardless of political affiliation in the face of threats to national and international security. There is no compelling reason it cannot do the same again.  

As 2012 draws to a close and cognizant of the interrelatedness of world economies,  everyone will no doubt be closely watching how Congress will address the fiscal cliff. 

I thought that there was something about the photo I took below that speaks about this current predicament. 
- Ariel Murphy

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