December 5th, 2012 ~ As we approach what some call "the fiscal cliff" and others "the fiscal slope", many folks seem focused solely on the across-the-board expiration of the Bush tax cuts.  Yet, this has little to do with the automatic and deep sequestration cuts in federal spending which will be triggered if no budget agreement is reached before January 1st, 2013.
      Oh certainly, the Bush tax cut expirations will have a MAJOR impact on reducing the national deficit so many Republicans give lip service to.  But we've all learned their deficit protestations are really nothing more than lip service.  When it comes to their Billionaire and Big Banking political donors, the deficit takes a back seat to protecting tax breaks for those obscenely wealthy GOP donors.  Please feel free to interpret GOP "lip service" any way you wish.  I do.
      What I find TOTALLY BRILLIANT is the President's and Democratic leadership's campaign of heightened public awareness regarding the automatic Bush tax cut expirations.  They've quite effectively managed to decouple the tax issue from the budget considerations; thereby freeing the key hostage Republicans had hoped to trade for ramrodding Paul Ryan's terrifying budget plan into law.  The very fact that House and Senate GOP leaders are screaming bloody murder because our President and Democratic legislators took the tax question directly to the American People, instead of meeting with them in exhaustive and ultimately fruitless bull sessions, speaks volumes about the GOP's true intent and their frustration at having been outmaneuvered, once again, by the 3D chess master.