Well we all know that the so-called "fiscal-cliff" is looming for new years day 2013. For months it has cast a pall of doom over the pending new years holiday. It used to be that new years was a time for making positive changes in our lives, as we anticipate with excitement the opportunity for a new beginning. New plans, new dreams, new goals. 2012 is over, the election is over, and it's time to look towards a new year.
But this year, I find myself wondering whether I should plan to take some educational courses in 2013 or just go ahead and kill myself. I'm torn between being totally positive about our country and our spirit of determination versus a constant series of dooms day scenarios.
The talk shows on the financial and news channels parade an endless variety of "experts", "strategists" and politicians who can be counted on to argue constantly about whether we are experiencing the growing pains of the worlds brightest and most successful nation or this is actually a real crisis so severe that we all need to dig a hole and crawl in it.
I'm weary of the endless arguments that never bear any fruit. It's just a jumble of information and opinions. Very little actual truth or clear, unbiased, documented facts. But it's great for TV ratings and government program creation when everyone is up in arms over something - anything.
From my perspective, it is pretty clear that this whole entire mess has been gradually created by Federal entities over many decades of our existence. From the original income tax, created to pay for the civil war, to the birth of the Fed in 1913, social security, medicare, medicaid, fiat money, wars, deficit spending, pet programs created with "government money", along with the resulting special interests that were created to take advantage of various opportunities to get "government money".
It seems to me that the collective federal government authorities and their cronies on Wall Street and the Federal Reserve are clearly responsible for this, if we are, in fact, standing at a fiscal cliff. On the other hand, if we're not, it wouldn't be the first crisis we've averted. These things are getting to be old hat. So either we really are in serious financial trouble, as half the experts say, or times are getting better and better so don't worry, be happy, as the other half of the experts say.
Or perhaps politicians and wall street have figured out that crises are a great way to justify funneling public money into programs contrived to benefit fellow cronies and supporters. After all, the fix for every single crisis has been more money, more money and more money. Everyone has a crisis that needs more money in order to fix it. I suppose if we just let Ben Bernanke actually drop more money from helicopters, we can eventually fix every single problem we have.
How is it that the same organization that spent years creating the collective mess, the organization that created the very deadline we are facing, are going to somehow fix this entire problem over some eggnog at a Christmas - er - holiday party? I think we've lost our collective minds if we remotely believe that a meaningful solution is going to happen before new years day. But so what? Everyone has apparently forgotten that we've still got to get through the "gateway to the next epoch" on December 21, 2012. The media and the government seem to have totally overlooked the Mayan calendar crisis. Heck, we may not even have to worry about the fiscal cliff.
I'm not happy about the fact that I can't be happy. I am generally happy but all these crises are bringing me down. It's a bummer. But I think that come January of 2013, the sky may not fall, even if the stock market does. Does anyone remember Y2K? I spent 3 months filling-in the hole I had dug to hide in before we went over the digital cliff. The nation spent years getting ready for that one, and nothing happened. Nothing. Half the experts I polled agreed that there was never a real Y2K crisis to begin with, and the other half of experts from the tech sector said the cliff was averted by the billion-zillion dollars we spent to reprogram or replace our old computers. Doomsday narrowly avoided once again.
Here's my suggestion to those who are "working tirelessly" to get this done: The federal government already uses accounting methods that are illegal in the private sector, to come up with numbers and budget projections that are designed to disguise or cover up reality. There's no real accuracy in any federal method of accounting, estimating the size of our deficit or the real inflation rate or anything else that actually requires a real number.
So, just make something up. That's all you have time to do. With 4 weeks left in the year, and only about 10 actual working days in there somewhere, all you can do is whip up a few spreadsheets and cryptic regulations with more of the standard government planning and accounting that always makes things look OK, even if it is total nonsense. So, in a nutshell, just fix it. You've been making up numbers and regulations for a very long time already. Just make up a few more and get a press release out on pressrelease.com or twitter - We know you aren't capable of actually fixing the problem anyway, because you've all been creating one crisis after another for years now. Don't expect me to spend my new years eve hiding in a bunker watching cable news. Enough already.
The bottom line is that if this is a real crisis, you've already blown numerous opportunities to work it out. You've already spent millions on commissions, planning sessions and studies, with absolutely nothing to show for it. The taxpayers have no reason to expect you to suddenly come up with a real solution now.
Or, when disaster is averted on new years eve with yet another grand, new plan that calls for lots more money, it may be more proof that this latest crisis and most others have been created by the "powers-that-be" in order to facilitate more power, along with more money for you and your buddies.
Any way you slice it, expecting the feds to fix any crisis that they've created themselves is like expecting that the arsonist who started the fire can be counted on to put it out, and that the folks who gave him the matches will be happy about it.
Donna S. Robinson is a real estate investor, author and residential market analyst located in Atlanta, GA. Follow her on twitter at donnaconsults. Her latest book, Basics Of Real Estate Investing is now available on Amazon.