5 Most Brainless Comments Shouted from Atop the Fiscal Cliff

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Following the tradition of heroism and courage that defines recent American politics, the lawmakers on Capitol Hill averted the recent plunge over the edge of the so-called Fiscal Cliff by… punting. Kicking the can down the road (Pennsylvania Avenue, anyone?). All that hootin’ and hollerin’ about automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts kicking in is off the radar screen (for a few months)!

Before we get into Spring and have to face most every issue that fueled the sequestration battle once again thanks to the debt ceiling debate (a perennial nonstarter until the whirling storm that is the meeting of the 44th Presidency and the 112th/113th Congress), let’s try to have a bit of fun with politics. Or rather, with politicians. While there was little humor in much of the Fiscal Cliff debate – economic debates fraught with deep underlying philosophical disagreements are so charming – we have found a bevy of beautifully stupid things our leading political minds said during the process. Let’s all agree that we can point our fingers and hoot at these folks.

5 Mitch McConnell

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We shall end with a diatribe from Mr. Turtleneck himself (and no, that is not a sartorial comment) Mitch McConnell. “The only reason Democrats are insisting on raising rates is because raising rates on the so-called rich is the holy grail of liberalism. The holy grail of liberalism. Their aim isn’t job creation. They’re interested in wealth destruction. Not job creation, but wealth destruction.” First of all, so-called rich? See point #4 again. And second, Mitchers, do you actually think that one of the two main American political parties wants to destroy wealth? Or are you just grandstanding? Guess what: there’s no good answer to those questions.

4 Bob Corker

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Now let’s hear from GOP Senator Bob Corker: “This is a lot of fuss about nothing today, unless you make, you know, somewhere between $350,000 a year and $550,000, today’s discussion is totally irrelevant, because that’s all that’s being discussed.” Ah, but perhaps that’s part of the problem here? Perhaps we should have been talking about which incomes should and shouldn’t be affected in different terms? When did making more than a quarter of a million bucks a year become so middle class?

3 President Obama

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Speaking to the Business Roundtable (essentially a group of rich CEOs) in December, we saw a bit of old school “Hope and Change’ Obama shine through. I guess it was nice to see some optimism, but oh, how precious. He said that once the logjam of Republican lawmakers’ opposition to higher taxes on the wealthy was broken through, “We can probably solve this in about a week; it’s not that tough.” Mr. President, all due respect, come on: that’s “when pigs fly” talk, sir.

2 Harry Reid

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Here’s a little gem from Dem. Senator Harry Reid speaking about House Speaker John Boehner. In context, it makes a little bit of sense, so let’s leave it way the hell out of context, of course: “I don’t understand his brain.” Heh. What a zinger!

1 Reince Priebus

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Let’s start with a quote from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (that name—poor guy) that is dissembling in the highest order: “It’s absolutely intellectually dishonest to have a conversation about tax increases until you talk about massive cuts in spending to the federal government.” Listen, R.P., you don’t get to call something “intellectually dishonest” just because it is contrary to your outlook. And second, no one ever intimated that there would be tax hikes without cuts. So keep attacking those windmills, Priebs! You’ll get ‘em eventually! (Also, I think you meant “spending of the federal government.” Just saying.)

And we vote for these people. Le sigh. It’s like Winston Churchill said, “No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Poignant, to say the least.

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