The Fiscal Cliffhanger? Let's Run Till We Drop And Baby We'll Never Go Back

Published 2:31 pm Tuesday, November 20, 2012

One could make the case that the reelection of Barack Obama has even greater significance as a milestone on our nation's racial journey from separate to equal than did his election in the first place.

Another four-year term means 2008 wasn't a freak or a one-off blip in the otherwise all-white White House. Continuing someone's employment, keeping that person in the job, is far more meaningful than hiring them ever could be.

Anyone can win a job. Not everybody can keep one, especially the job of President of the United States.

Email newsletter signup

Plenty of people get hired but plenty of those get fired after the gloss wears off and reality finds the holes in the resume.

If anyone voted based on hype and hope four years ago, they voted based on faith in the president this time, flesh and blood, not flash.

Credit to us as a nation, and to President Obama

With no history to be made this time-no first-ever African American president-we made history anyway. And I believe many of those who voted for someone else nonetheless feel some vibrancy from that in their own veins.

Now there is vital work to be done.

A fiscal cliff to be avoided.

The American people have spoken and they clearly want President Obama and Congress (not President Romney and Congress)-Republicans and Democrats-to cooperatively create, pass and sign into law legislation that avoids the fiscal cliff of sequestration and enacts long-term budget reform. The election results demonstrate most Americans agree with President Obama that the middle class should keep its tax cut and the wealthiest two percent should provide more tax revenue in accompaniment with wisely-targeted spending cuts.

An agreement based on that parameter-negotiation and compromise is possible in the key details-can and must be reached.

Anything less is unacceptable.

Sequestration is, to appropriate words from “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen, “a death trap, it's a suicide rap.”

The mandatory tax increases, defense cuts and cuts in social programs were meant to be so thoroughly distasteful to both Republicans and Democrats-something reprehensively awful in it for everybody-that nobody in either party would allow the sequestration cuts to take effect on January 1.

With such a recipe for disaster, it was believed, a different menu would surely be agreed upon before the last seconds of 2012 dropped a ball on Times Square and the nation over the fiscal cliff.

Happy New Year?

Personally, I believe the fiscal cliff will be avoided, that the President and Congress will agree on something other than the too awful alternative that would wound Americans deeply, leaving permanent scars, and pulling the people's faith in their elected representatives apart at the seams.

As an added reverse bonus, given the emotional volatility of the stock market, its seemingly psychotic mood swings based on a fear of what might happen, the fiscal cliff of sequestration poses a potential doomsday scenario here in the US and overseas too, where economic fragility is a flag of all nations.

So man up, woman up, Congress. Reach out to the president, genuinely.

And take that hand with conviction, Mr. President, putting both of them on the wheel, steering us clear of a fiscal cliff that never should have come so close.

Together we could break this trap.