And other disasters that aren't going to happen. Here's James Galbraith on the reality of the looming "crisis":
Stripped to essentials, the fiscal cliff is a device constructed to force a rollback of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, as the price of avoiding tax increases and disruptive cuts in federal civilian programs and in the military. It was policy-making by hostage-taking, timed for the lame duck session, a contrived crisis, the plain idea now unfolding was to force a stampede.
In the nature of stampedes arguments become confused; panic flows from fear, when multiple forces – economic and political in this instance – all appear to push the same way. It is therefore useful to sort through those forces, breaking them down into separate questions, and to ask whether any of them justify the voices of doom.
Read the whole thing -- he goes through point by point and underscores that they are so much horsepucky.
And then he makes a recommendation I can wholeheartedly support:
In short, Members of Congress: if you can, just pass the President's bill on middle-class taxes, and, if you can, eliminate the domestic sequester. Then, please go home. Enjoy the holidays. Come back in January prepared to extend unemployment insurance, to phase out the payroll tax holiday gradually, to restore stable funding to necessary programs and to start dealing with our real problems: jobs, foreclosures, infrastructure and climate change.
I'd take out the "if you can" parts -- just do it, and justify, for a little while at least, the cushy jobs you've got.
Via Digby. Read her post for the lead-in. It seems everyone's on board.