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Cliff diving

Politico
Gov. Bobby Jindal 
12/6/12

As the nation eagerly awaits Washington’s solution to the so-called fiscal cliff, and as the negotiations continue back and forth in both the media and in reality, here are a few thoughts for consideration.

Today it’s the fiscal cliff, but that surely will not be the end of it; next year it will be the fiscal mountain, after that the fiscal black hole, and after that fiscal Armageddon. But the truth is Washington already drove us off the fiscal cliff while no one was looking. A nation that has a $16.3 trillion debt, a debt that is larger than our entire economy, has already driven through the guard rail and is in free fall with the cliff somewhere in the rear view mirror.

I had the honor of serving in Congress. Here’s what I learned – there will be no significant change without structural reforms. That’s the polite way of saying it. The less gentle version is that Congress and this administration are psychologically incapable of getting our fiscal house in order without laws that give them no other alternative.

It appears clear to me that with President Obama having created a brand new entitlement program and having won re-election, and with our hand of cards in the Senate being weaker not stronger, and with Secretary Geithner’s laughable public offering last week, whatever deal is reached is going to contain elements that are detrimental to our economy. Elections have consequences, and the country is going to feel those consequences soon.

But in the negotiations, Republicans certainly should fight to at least get something done that will matter. At present, any reading of the headlines over the past week indicates that Republicans are fighting to protect the rich and cut benefits for seniors. It may be possible to have worse political positioning than that, but I’m not sure how.

Published on Politico.com