Sliding down the fiscal cliff

It is not clear whether America will continue to slide down the fiscal cliff. No one falls off the cliff —  it's just a matter of continuing to slide into uncharted financial wasteland. 

There is now a countdown on several news stations in the Washington, D.C., area that show how many days America has until it goes off the fiscal cliff of spending cuts and tax increases.
 

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But despite the fact that there are less than 30 days for lawmakers to get their act together to solve the problem, the reality of the situation is that it is impossible to solve the fiscal cliff in the four weeks remaining before Christmas. It took America a generation of fiscally irresponsible policies, including unfunded entitlement legislation, to get us into this mess. It is unreasonable to expect politicians to get us out of this mess before the end of the year. Before the government decides to go after a lofty goal such as solving the fiscal cliff, it should focus on reaching some more manageable goals that include complex tax reform and politically charged entitlement restructuring. 
 
Greece and the rest of the European Union have dealt with many Euro members impending default for several years.  It is hubris for the U.S. government to think it can solve these problems within one month. 
 
The Europeans are basking in schadenfreude as they watch America try to resolve unfunded benefits of our Western European welfare state.

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