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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Fiscal Cliff

Tyler Durden's picture


Via Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box,

“If I've told you once, I've told you a hundred times; do not fan the girls when they're wet! But you'll never learn; you'll be a eunuch all your life.”

There are 16 days left before we all shoot over the falls and are plunged into the freezing water. The markets are pretending it will never happen and that some magical incantation will be found to set everything right in the moments before we take the dive. The lethargy is noticeable and the apathy is like someone has thrown the wet towel of complacency over everyone’s shoulders. The crowd meanders. The mob is a headless jumble of people and the clock ticks and ticks and does not stop ticking. The unknown is recognized but like some mindless lemming staring at the cliff I do not think that many understand the gravity of the situation.

Lycus: “Is it contagious?”

Pseudolus: “Have you ever seen a plague that wasn’t?”

In the best case scenario, according to most people, some agreement will be reached. I hate to even agree that this is the best case but this is what almost everyone thinks and so I will go along with it for the moment. This best case scenario however includes an assumption that I do not believe will be correct which is that something formulated by common sense will be the result and it is just there that I hold little hope. To be quite open; I am more frightened of what our political leaders might concoct than what we face at the cliff. The Democrats cry for more stimulus in a time when we cannot afford the stimulus and the social programs we now have but “more money” seems to be the only words in their vocabularies these days. Ok, they can also say “tax the rich” but it is a limited amount of words that they speak now.

It’s against the law of the United States to take one’s own life. The penalty is death.

Obama claims a mandate. Who gave him this mandate one may reasonable ask; the 47.5 million people on food stamps, the people living on the tax benefits of those that work, the people who game the system so that they never have to find a job and enjoy a life paid for by those that are gainfully employed? That is one heck of a mandate isn’t it and yet that is the basis of his claim. Given his “claim to fame” then what is it that we should expect if some agreement is, in fact, reached? Well, boys and girls, it is going to be higher taxes, maybe taxing Municipal Bonds, perhaps some new financial transaction tax, maybe a dividend tax or an income tax on interest received but whatever it is it will be designed to make the people that work and make money poorer. It will be Nottingham and the Sherwood Forest and robbing the rich to give to the poor which is a wonderful fairy tale but hardly a logical plan to run the country or perhaps it is a fine way to run the country if your object is to run it aground.

Pseudolus: “Calm yourself down. I’ll tell you when it is time to panic.”

Miles Gloriosus: “I smell mischief here.”

Pseudolus: “It’s time!”

I am slowly coming to the opinion that the best that can be hoped for is that we do plunge off the cliff. Maybe that will wake up some of the intoxicated with themselves people we now find living in Washington. It also might have a further benefit of waking up the citizens of the country who seem to be traipsing around like nothing is amiss. Nothing is amiss, of course, just ask Nancy Pelosi who will tell you that it is now “a ms.” The other problem is that our politicians are secretly whispering in the corridors. They have convinced themselves that even if we do go off the cliff that there is a tourist stop about half way down where they can stop and ask for directions. It has gotten so bad now in Washington D.C. that recently when one of our Democratic Congressmen announced that his wife was going into labor that the response from the floor was “well, some people have to work.”

Pseudolus: “A common courtesan in the house of Lycus?”

Hero: “Is that bad?”

Pseudolus: “There is no way to make it sound like an achievement.”


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Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:28 | 3062877 Fips_OnTheSpot
Fips_OnTheSpot's picture

Isnt it last day in congress calendar today anyway?

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:47 | 3062946 derek_vineyard
derek_vineyard's picture

the calander has 365.25 spaces stamped as flex days  (vacation, go to washington if feel like it, vote if feel like it, get on knees for press-mandatory,but who needs to be forced?)

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:15 | 3063045 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

Just for the record, Robin Hood didn't steal from the rich and give to the poor.

He stole from the tax collector, and returned the money to the taxpayers.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:32 | 3063109 knukles
knukles's picture

Here here....
I say what-ho, over the cliff we go!
Bloody well only way to get spending cut, mates!

(unicorn time!)

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:15 | 3063290 eclectic syncretist
eclectic syncretist's picture

We will go over the cliff because the FedGov needs to preserve the illusion that Federal Reserve Notes are money, and for no other reason.

It will allow the FedGov to make some lying piece of shit statement like "we need the extra revenues to balance spending", when the truth is they can print all the debt (Federal Reserve Notes) they want, and even with higher taxes they will continue to spend way more than they take back in until the illusion is eventually shattered.  Higher taxes is just a stalling tactic.  Gotta keep the geurnsey making milk as long as possible.....

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:28 | 3063417 rotagen
rotagen's picture

Like everything else in our fake economy, the "fiscal cliff" is just a chapter in a fairy tale, making this commentary quite useless.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:30 | 3062885 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Compromise == tax cut for everyone, no meaningful spending cuts, and deficits as far as the eye can see.

Every crony wins!

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:37 | 3062910 spastic_colon
spastic_colon's picture

indeed....obummer was "mandated" by himself with the ACA, gotta pay for it and then some.  Plus any resolution will be all handshakes and photo ops but revenue neutral and all the career politicians keep their jobs.  Besides, most people only read headlines, which is politically perfect as long as it is the "majority" of people.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:24 | 3063075 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

The fiscal cliff is not the end of the road. As long as the international community accepts the US as payment for goods, services and in particular oil, the USA will act with impunity. However the grim reaper approaches. First with currency agreements between various countries doing away with the US as a medium of exchange and secondly the curtailment of these countrie's US Treasury purchases. It's a timing thing which will get out of hand when one major nation says "no more." The question is whether the USA will then cause that nation a great deal of grief as they did with Iraq and Lybia which also did the wrong thing by the US dollar.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:40 | 3062896 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Ask around amongst CEOs (especially government contractors).  We went over it a couple months ago for all practical purposes.

I honestly don't know if they're going to get this done.  Seems like they would all be in better negotiating postions if we DID go over.  Then they could lower (some) taxes and raise (ALL) spending back again a few months later (both sides claim victory) and voila!  That's what they call a "win-win" in DC.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:04 | 3063012 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

I support going over the cliff.  I can't see any other way to enact any sort of spending cuts. 

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:45 | 3063140 Seer
Seer's picture

" I can't see any other way to enact any sort of spending cuts. "

If that's the objective then you should understand:

1) It's inevitable;

2) It'll mark the end of growth as we've come to know it.

Anyone thinking that we come out some other side picking up pieces just doesn't understand what "economies of scale" have meant.  The Great Unwind is the great unwinding of the growth paradigm, a paradigm that Capitalism is based on.

I don't support anything other than spending my energy on things that I actually have some sense of control over (and in distancing myself from the unsustainable).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:34 | 3062899 Cursive
Cursive's picture

Land of the lotus eaters.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:53 | 3062976 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



There are those who think that they were dealt a losing hand,
The cards were stacked against them- they weren't born in lotus-land.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:34 | 3062900 duo
duo's picture

Ahhh, but Obama will have to offset the damage done to the economy from tax increases with more "stimulus".  Of course, the stimulus goes to union jobs, but the tax increase hits the middle class.  Genius.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:50 | 3063150 Seer
Seer's picture

Why do I get the impression that no matter where YOU fell you'd be belly-aching...

Seems that the greater money flows have been going to the financial institutions.

But, maybe you're right, all money should go to Apple and FB because they're not government.  (yes, I'm being somewhat sarcastic; it's just that government doesn't have a lock on being fucked up; businesses. whose lobbyists control the government*, hardly differ).

* POTUS is a talking-head, controlled by those lobbyists.  Those that target the figure-head are blind shooters (or Party Pussies).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 18:26 | 3064742 Element
Element's picture

Nah, the US Housing Recovery surge will save the day ... you'll see!


Fri, 12/14/2012 - 19:55 | 3065043 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

And the jobs go overseas.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:36 | 3062903 Dexter Morgan
Dexter Morgan's picture

 Forward Off the Cliff, Bitchez!

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:51 | 3062972 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

We're already off the cliff, just don't look down. All this "Fiscal Cliff" is a smoke screen to use as a reason to go deeper into debt...but it's the debt that's the problem. Go over the Fiscal Cliff or don't, it matters not.

I wouldn't count on a market sell off either because I wouldn't bet on anything falling faster than the dollar. Now that QE4 is underway, market is going to turn back into the good 'ole "good news is bad news and bad news is good news" as it's going to be all about frontrunning the next boost in QE.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:25 | 3063078 trav777
trav777's picture

yeah, remember that gravity comes back on when you hit terminal velocity

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:20 | 3063350 TheSilverJournal
TheSilverJournal's picture

Gravity doesn't turn on and off. But if you equating terminal velocity to saying that they have reached the point which they can't print any faster, then you are very wrong. The rate of QE is going in one direction and it will increase literally until the balance sheet starts reaching for infinite. It's as easy as keystrokes on a computer. Short anything measured in dollars at your own peril.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:38 | 3062906 JustObserving
JustObserving's picture

All this fiscal cliff BS over a trillion or trillion and a half deficit reduction over ten years.  Bernanke prints $1.02 trillion a year.  He will be printing for 4 years at least - that will be $4.08 trillion.

The only funny thing about the fiscal cliff is all this posturing.  Nothing will come of it and US debts and unfunded liabilities will continue to rise at $8 trillion a year while the politicians claim victory.  

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:59 | 3063189 Seer
Seer's picture

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken

They're tossing up a smokescreen to make it look like they're trying.  And when it fails, which is a 100% probability, they'll be able to point at the "opposing" political party as the "reason."

The other benefit is that you get people jumping on the bandwagons of these ridiculous party plays like it's some sort of sports game, rooting for the conquest by Their team, belittling the other "team."  Meanwhile the TPTB (of the "gods and masters" class) escape through the back alleys.

Same as it ever was... but! re-racking the next game is going to be a LONG way out, as this time the fires will burn far past the range of Rome...

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 19:53 | 3065036 are we there yet
are we there yet's picture

Many political historians 'Solzinyeitskin, etc' say that political leaders need a national enimy or national threat to unite a country to make it governable.  If they do not have an enimy they will make one up.  I am old enough to remember a continued evolution of the US until we appear to be in a permanent state of national threat.  I do not see it getting better, or us getting our old freedoms back, and market economy back.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:37 | 3062914 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

What this country needs is more bankster bailouts and more wars!


How come the Rockefellers aren't on the Forbes 400 list?

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:45 | 3062945 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

What this country needs is an enema.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:51 | 3062974 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

I read the unfunded liabilities were around $211 trl. Over what times frame is this number projected next 20 yrs or what? anyone know?

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:22 | 3063063 boogerbently
boogerbently's picture


Wipe the slate clean.

Santelli/Grant 2016?

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:09 | 3063262 Seer
Seer's picture

Reset WHAT?

Your taxes?  ALL OF SOCIETY?

"Wipe the slate clean."

Your debt?  Govt debt?  ALL DEBT?  Even by those who may have scammed their way to accumulating assets, these folks get to KEEP those assets?  CLEAN means a COMPLETELY fresh starting point, books are zeroed for everyone-no debt and everyone has the same amount/value of assets.  Are YOU ready to have your assets divided up?  Doubtful.  Assets of the scammers?  If you pick on them (and I'm not arguing that they should be protected, I'm only pointing out that the details are MUCH more difficult than just spouting out "sounds good stuff") then that's unequal, isn't it? (and how do "we" know when it's all done and equal, especially given the power that many have to evade)

"Santelli/Grant 2016?"  For WHAT?

People!  Learn this lesson: NO MORE governments, NOT MORE central power.

Cognitive dissonance, people blasting govt interference and then promoting folks for govt positions.  If you're fucking serious then the ONLY "SOLUTION" is for there to be NO GOVERNMENT.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:33 | 3063452 The Joker
The Joker's picture

OK, I'll play.  Don't all cultures evolve into some sort of geographical region with government?  Unless, of course, you go back 10,000 years.  Did evolution take a wrong turn?  If no government, then what?  Some sort of local community structure?  Still going to evolve gov.  I don't see a way around that, not with any sort of functionality.  Are you an anarchist too?  I like you, but please, I'm dying to hear, explain your solution.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 16:25 | 3064131 Thisson
Thisson's picture

The solution is a small and limited government.  Small enough that it can be funded by constitutional sources such as  impost taxes, etc. and limited to the designated powers articulated in the constitution.  None of this power-creep crap justified by a misreading of the interstate commerce clause, for example. 

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:28 | 3063091 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

The unfunded liabilities include benefits accrued to anyone who has paid tax, so that implies about 40 years forward when you include the few folks who have recently gotten withheld.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:46 | 3063143 1100-TACTICAL-12
1100-TACTICAL-12's picture

So 211/40=5.275 per year there abouts. And this is not added in to any projections .gov makes.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:59 | 3063000 The Joker
The Joker's picture

What this country is going to get is a false flag of nuclear proportions.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:06 | 3063018 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

I don't know that it will be false flag, but I do agree it is imminent.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:59 | 3063186 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Well, I'm not too good at math, not my strong subjekt.  Let's see, war is a necessary evil tied to debt.  Most, if not all, wars are started by false flags, because they are necessary in this beautiful system.  This is a growth system and has to grow exponentially (no?).  Therefore the debt has to grow exponentially (no?). = Exponential war growth.  So, do I multiply the numerater and the denominater or just the numerater?  Does the next false flag = 81/11 or 81/121?  Either way, it will be a doooooooooosie.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:22 | 3063378 Seer
Seer's picture

ALL wars are about resources.  The debt/money part is just numerical representation of the status of resources.  But, yeah, it's inevitable that war is up next, as people are unwilling to face up to the fact that the only other direction is reversal and contraction.  Dick Cheney was right when he said that "the American way of life isn't negotiable."  People are unwilling (be they individuals, businesses, or government) to stop expansionism (growth).  To be fair, it's human nature, not just reserved for "Americanism" (sorry, AnAnonymous).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:37 | 3063115 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Quickly.  NOW !  Pump out the brow-high crapula now from the streets, the ceiling is approaching, and the floor is caving in !!  get out or get it done, or get over the whole thing...but get through it now.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:36 | 3062915 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



To cliff or not to cliff...that is NOT the question.  The fiscal cliff is nothing more than short-term political manuevering.  It is NOISE in the grand scheme of the teetering ponzi of unrepayable debt.  Pain is going to come, the only issues are the timing and strength of each dose.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:02 | 3063005 The Joker
The Joker's picture

I hate cliche's.  No pain, no gain.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 21:28 | 3065339 Mike in GA
Mike in GA's picture

My wife makes a great zucchini pain lotsa gain. :)


Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:52 | 3063158 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Yes, but now the only exit is unsterilized printed crapula, or a Global Jubilee. or collapse  Pick one (now!)

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:37 | 3062917 Ayn NY
Ayn NY's picture

Doesn't the fiscal cliff just take us back to Y2K spending and taxation levels? It sounds less painful than what Obama has planned and if more people have skin in the game then perhaps government spending will be an issue once again.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:10 | 3063031 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Optimism, the 8th deadly sin.  I have a feeling you are going to die in your sleep.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 17:04 | 3064400 Ayn NY
Ayn NY's picture

Just trying to look for a silver lining or a sliver of hope....

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:38 | 3062920 youngman
youngman's picture

It is sad....but politics is being spewed...not rational decisions....we are killing ourselves...we don´t need an enemy..we are doing it within...Russia and China are laughing their asses off....and licking their lips...

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:39 | 3062925 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Russia (formally a part of the Soviet Union) has been there before and can't wait to capitalize.  They are more than smiling my friend, yes licking their lips perhaps.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 15:58 | 3063944 FreeNewEnergy
FreeNewEnergy's picture

"We have met the enemy and he is us."


-- Walt Kelly (1913–1973), Pogo

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:37 | 3062921 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

What garbarge, no mention of fraud, cronyism or fascism.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:51 | 3062967 thedrickster
thedrickster's picture

It's redundant, these are the essence of governance.


Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:52 | 3062978 SKY85hawk
SKY85hawk's picture

You all are losing sight of the real problem!

The corporation, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, has exempted itself from all GAAP rules of fiscal management. Proper accruals and timely reporting of the true condition of our country's finances would have woken people up many years ago.

America's politicians are just like Europe's

"We all know what to do, we just don't know how to get re-elected after we have done it."

-Jean-Claude Junker

Finally, I wish Marc would remind his readers that Obama signed the 2011 Budget Deal.

If Barry was true to his campaign promises, he would have vetoed the expiration of Bush tax cuts for the NON-wealthy.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:58 | 3062995 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

All by design.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:15 | 3063043 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Indeed, a grand bargain it is.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:27 | 3063087 Ghordius
Ghordius's picture

duh. "America's politicians are just like Europe's" how I hate this kind of proto-fascist and anti-democratic nonsense

if you have the franchise than you have a popularity contest going on - ergo a political leadership that is a reflection of the electorate

encapsulated in "every country has the government it deserves"

nevertheless, this and other frank and blunt words from Junker are constantly used out of context

do you have any important politicians in the US that are this frank? NO

can a politician ever admit to lying in the US? NO - in fact if in the US you admit any weakness or mistake you are history

can you do gov's work with such skittish markets like the last years without lying? NO - particularly when a lot is still to be agreed upon

just as a reminder: J-C J was and still is the freaking Prime Minister of a country (that you might not even know about) for freaking 17 years, four general elections and half a dozen coalitions and his electorate still appreciates him - including the role he had in the eurogroup, his lying at that time and his admission afterwards

but all you know is two phrases that would sink every US politician and that for you all gov is anyway a corporation (which just shows how powerful corporations are where you come from) and a scam (which philosophically speaking is true, but that is another story)

end of rant

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:43 | 3062933 Zap Powerz
Zap Powerz's picture

We are in debt 16+ Trillion dollars. We have a negative income to debt ratio. We add about a trillion more every year currently.  The cost of running the government and servicing the existing debt is increasing exponentially.  Tax revenues are decreasing.

What part of this situation seems even remotely fixable?

Answer: None.  It is not fixable. Its just math.  I dont care what those smegma eating pederasts in Washington DC do, there is no way to fix this kind of broken.

So, what are we going to do? Nothing.  What do you do when 2 seconds before you hit the ground after falling off a cliff?  Nothing.  You just crash and die.  That is going to happen to the USA. It will die. It will cease to exist as we now know it.  It can be replaced by something better or something much worse.  That will be the part we have control over.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:07 | 3063023 asteroids
asteroids's picture

People really have no idea how much $1T is or how much human sweat it's going to take to pay it off.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:09 | 3063027 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

There is a way to fix it - cut spending by 40% and perform triage on federal programs to meet the budget.  It won't happen until the borrowing and printing are forced by reality to stop. 

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:11 | 3063034 Seer
Seer's picture

Well stated.

Math and physics trump all, and, they're calling us from the bottom of the cliff.

Blasting the predicament is easy.  Pretending that there's any "solution," especially coming from anyone in the status quo crowd (which includes all the talking-heads [who live OFF of the very stuff they are blasting]), is the height of absurdity.

"Men argue, nature acts." - Voltaire

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:25 | 3063077 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture

You wrote, “It will cease to exist as we now know it. It can be replaced by something better or something much worse.

True.  Trouble is, hardly anyone understands that there are two kinds of revolution: one that advances the cause of tyranny; the other, liberty.

I call one a Bolshevik, the other, an American, revolution – after their most recent and spectacular examples.  Of thousands of rebellions and tax revolts in human history, only three have advanced the cause of liberty.

This should tell you that, if you prefer liberty, now is the time to learn the difference.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:40 | 3063495 Seer
Seer's picture

And the American Revolution brought about what we have now...  If it was such a great premise then we wouldn't be in the predicament that we're in: it would never have been corruptible [yeah, like That's possible within the context of human nature!]. That it's taken longer to show up as a failure doesn't mean that it is good.

When more than "you're/we're free" was stated it means that it was never intended to be such, despite all the great flowery words to the contrary.

I prefer REAL liberty (not the stories passed down by elitists)- NO GOVERNMENT (no gods, no masters).

Liberty, rah, rah, rah... and when asked what one means by "liberty" it then becomes a bit more hazy, doesn't it? (all sort of holes are liable to be poked)  Fantasies are nice.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:59 | 3063172 PianoRacer
PianoRacer's picture

You keep using that word "we".

I do not think it means what you think it means.

Ending collectivist thinking - and by extension, language - is a necessary prerequisite to achieving freedom.

The fact that you want to replace this evil machine with anything is telling. WE do not need rulers.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:09 | 3063261 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Yes yes yes yes.  Anarchy, the anti-system, to benefit of all our freedoms.  Freedom from rulers and rules, from governance, from order, from structure, from business, from power, from health care.  Natural selection in it's purest form.  Ahhhhh, I love anarchists.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:49 | 3063539 Seer
Seer's picture

Clearly you're being sarcastic (with your last sentence), as if you actually KNEW what anarchism was -the sole fundamental of being opposed to any form of oppressive coercion- you'd know that ANYTHING (as long as it didn't violate that one premise) is possible, that it is up to people to form and decide as they wish.

If you are being sarcastic then I could just as readily point out the absurdity of calling for "un-natural selection" as the goal.  I'm not seeing this as the way forward, the shining beacon of "liberty."

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 15:50 | 3063883 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Oh no, it's not sarcasm.  I am a firm believer in natural selection as the highest form of reality.  All the intervention in natural selection (health care, social security, medicare, medicaid, political correctness, altruism, taking care of the needy, spreading the wealth, unemployment benefits, FDA, etc etc etc) are what really get under my skin.  Perhaps if all these interventions didn't take place then we could maintain a balanced population on earth and increase our fitness.  I am certainly not a proponent of unnatural selection.  How could we really evolve properly with it.  I'm with you Seer, I just hear the complaints about the current state of our being without being offered any hypothetical altered states of being, for human beings, everything being equal.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 19:13 | 3064802 Element
Element's picture

Personally, I don't give a fuck about natural-selection, or see its relevance to this, or to the notion that we have had any choice in suspending it, or that we have suspended it in some unnatural way. For fuck sake, humans and conscious quasi-intelligent primates are not foreign to this universe, it is a material emergent facet of it, so why do you think that what we do is 'unnatural' selection, even if we do alter selection trajectory?

That's still 100% natural-selection!

We are surviving at the expense of other critters niche in the food chain.  Fuckem, they're delicious!  And we're transforming the wild wolfie infested woods to something more akin to the British country-side, with no wolfies. Thus we're increasing the conditions for us, at the expense of other criters. We are expanding our niche within the global food chain.

Open your fucking eyes, that's an extraordinary example of natural-selection!  the most amazing example of it in the Earth's history. For crist sake, this is our planet, we are not interlopers here. Frankly, I think it a bit warped that radical greenies seem to think that we should reduce our niche and give it all back to wolfie, and go and die-out instead. Wankers. We can do without those degenerate 'progressive' fuckers for a start! :D  Progressive, but only if you're going in reverse!

Nor that our miserable little gene pools that we seek to arguably bless our offspring with are worth 2 fucking cents in any ultimately infinite measure.

There I said it. :D

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 15:55 | 3063919 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Couldn't ANYTHING the people form and decide as they wish really be called a form of government?  A structered community, with rules and laws?  We did decide that, to excape oppressive coercion, and now the "new wine is dying on the vine".  Now what?

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 15:59 | 3063949 zapdude
zapdude's picture

Word, from one Zap to another. 

I tried telling family members about the sheer insanity of it all over Thanksgiving, only to have them stare back like zombie sheeple. 

Meh, I'm slowly realizing that there's so little time left to react, awakening others at this late hour won't do much good...

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:53 | 3062981 Anomalous Howard
Anomalous Howard's picture

going over the "cliff" = very, very nasty disruption

avoiding the "cliff" = very nasty disruption


both outcomes have adherents with rationalizations that work out to bullish


So...the artificial placement of something called "the cliff" into the timeline is bullish...just by being there.

Nasty disruption has been priced in for at least 3 years.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:54 | 3062983 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Here's a crazy-ass prediction for you - No deal will be reached, the deadline will be passed, and then MAGICALLY, loopholes will be found that allow the consequences of the cliff to be avoided.  There will be few, if any changes to taxation, and few, if any cuts to spending.  The debt ceiling will be raised, and a new 'deadline' will be established for the next act in this never-ending play.  Does nobody else remember any of the previous acts?

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:06 | 3063019 Seer
Seer's picture

And the final line from the closing act: "Didn't see it coming."

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:17 | 3063050 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

Yes, certainly.  But don't forget to preface your comment with 'spoiler alert', so as not to ruin it for the others.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:58 | 3062998 gould's fisker
gould's fisker's picture

I'm packing up and leaving town--the Myan's must be right if I agree with her on anything:

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 12:59 | 3063001 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture
"I am slowly coming to the opinion that the best that can be hoped for is that we do plunge off the cliff." This isn't the plunge you are looking for.  You can go about your business.  Move along.. The petrodollar plunge on the other hand...
Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:00 | 3063003 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

Stop parroting the senseless hyperbole of the MSM. There is no "fiscal cliff".........

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:03 | 3063007 Anomalous Howard
Anomalous Howard's picture

And it's not like this hasn't happened many times throughout history.

33AD also had its own "Leman moment" that prompted Tiberius to forfeit his own humongous wealth to try to stimulate an economy as fiat, fractional reserve banking hit the "cliff".

This time that type of stimulus moment hasn't been reached yet...but it will when the wave of debt forgiveness goes global and the .01% see all their wealth evaporate.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:05 | 3063015 Al Huxley
Al Huxley's picture

I see, so the .01% who have most of the wealth, and control the military, are suddenly going to give it up in a magnanimous gesture of debt forgiveness to pacify the masses?  You might want to consider other scenarios, like '21st century feudalism and serfdom'.  Just a thought.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:14 | 3063041 Seer
Seer's picture

People have two options:

1) Fight TPTB for stuff that's not sustainable (and not in sufficient supply as to provide for the masses);


2) Shift away from it all, use your energies creating a new life (devoid of current TPTB, and, hopefully, pledged to not allowing the formation of a new TPTB).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:32 | 3063095 Anomalous Howard
Anomalous Howard's picture

Telly Savalis haircuts...repudiation...banks turning a blind eye to non-payment of mortgages...Norway...

It's already starting.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:39 | 3063126 Anomalous Howard
Anomalous Howard's picture

Why do you think Bush was told to say "Wall Street got drunk"?

Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:00pm BST

(Reuters) - President George W. Bush has an explanation for the housing market meltdown that has thrown the global economy into turmoil: Wall Street got drunk.

The writing is on the wall.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:56 | 3063168 Anomalous Howard
Anomalous Howard's picture

brief outline of Roman Banking crisis of 33AD:


Part 3 of more in-depth discussion:

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:31 | 3063101 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Now that's what I call funny.  Who plays the part of Tiberius?  Obama?  Rockefellaaaah? The Queen? Oh, I see, that's the what the Bilderberg as been meeting about, Plan B: Altruism.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:01 | 3063207 Anomalous Howard
Anomalous Howard's picture

The script we're following has been played out before....right down to the fed buying up bad mortgages as part of a "stimulus" plan.

History is a wonderful thing...if you look into it.  But most people think they're too smart to do that.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:06 | 3063020 Clesthenes
Clesthenes's picture

You wrote, “I am slowly coming to the opinion that the best that can be hoped for is that we do plunge off the cliff. Maybe that will wake up some of the intoxicated with themselves people we now find living in Washington. It also might have a further benefit of waking up the citizens of the country who seem to be traipsing around like nothing is amiss.”


Afraid not.  For the vast majority of men – like 95-98% - it is impossible for them to change beliefs or habits.  Once they have learned routines of their cave, they have exhausted their capacity for learning; they will die, or kill, rather than change beliefs or habits.  Such is the basis of totalitarianism.

As long as dissidents and unwilling slaves sit and wait for members of criminal and useful-idiot classes to drown or hang themselves, nothing in that direction will happen: it will continue to be more taxes, more regulation, more oppression, more outrages…

Men have wished for this nonsense for thousands of years… and history has yet to provide an example of it.  Did I say that the slow-witted never learn?

Once I came to this conclusion, I decided to search our history books for men and eras that advanced the cause of liberty.  I read 30,000 to 50,000 pages of man’s chronicle, and found only three eras of such – without which we all would be eating roots and leftovers from lion kills, and living in caves or trees.

Here is a short account of how a few men, so very few, brought down judges and tax collectors, bishops and kings who thought they had a divine right to impose taxes on other men without the latter’s consent; the same men who, 150 years later, would guide American Founders.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:28 | 3063093 trav777
trav777's picture

what a bunch of hyperbolic nonsense

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:30 | 3063100 Seer
Seer's picture

"Men have wished for this nonsense for thousands of years… and history has yet to provide an example of it.  Did I say that the slow-witted never learn?"

No gods, no masters...

"I read 30,000 to 50,000 pages of man’s chronicle, and found only three eras of such – without which we all would be eating roots and leftovers from lion kills, and living in caves or trees."

We only THINK that we're more "evolved."  It's the greatest trick we've ever played on ourselves.  Pretending that exceeding the sustainable is sustainable.  Denigrating "eating roots and leftovers from lion kills, and living in caves or trees." is no more than a failure to skip past the entire premise of sustainability (and launching into the "perpetual growth on a finite planet" meme, which is what led us to where we are now).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:35 | 3063466 Freddie
Freddie's picture

"They train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write f*ck on their airplanes because it's obscene! "

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 15:56 | 3063924 Seer
Seer's picture

Kind of says it all, doesn't it?

Scribble between the lines, the lines dictated by your masters...

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 19:07 | 3064879 Element
Element's picture

Come on seer, you go too far sometimes. You don't know what is sustainable and what is not, you just presume it.

If population plunges do you think we'll suddenly forget about agriculture? Fishing? Livestock? How to build?

Give the monkey some fucking credit! ;-)

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:43 | 3063135 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

"Afraid not.  For the vast majority of men – like 95-98% - it is impossible for them to change beliefs or habits.  Once they have learned routines of their cave, they have exhausted their capacity for learning; they will die, or kill, rather than change beliefs or habits."

If the author of this total crap statement is not a female, he is doing a great impersonation of one. I am so fucking sick of men being portrayed as simpletons waiting around for some brilliant female to come along and "guide" them through life. You know, kinda like the government does with all of us. If the author is a male ( obviously not a man) he should turn in his penis.

/Soapbox off

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 16:02 | 3063966 Seer
Seer's picture

I read it more to say that humans tend to cling to that which they've been "taught" and are too hesitant to change horses in midstream, regardless of the realization that the horse is dying (because they've always been told that horses don't die).

My beef is that there was an underlying poke at sustainability (caves and such; but, I suppose, it could be a reference to Plato's Allegory of the Cave, which, well, who knows what the point was then... [we don't need to make things difficult via parables]) .  And, it's really quite hubristic to believe that the charade is better than reality (OK, yes, until the horse dies).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:07 | 3063025 dbTX
dbTX's picture

Off subject, but it's loking like we're having Turkey for Christmaas dinner this year.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:22 | 3063066 rwe2late
rwe2late's picture


 Government out of money?

and yet the Fed has money to purchase about $85 billion per month of questionable assets from the TBTF banksters.

And that is funded by ... ?


Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:34 | 3063116 Toolshed
Toolshed's picture

The Fed is a private bank.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:52 | 3063560 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

The Fed can create USD's at will, they have the specific and exclusive authority to do so.  It's being funded by dollar devaluation, which is a form of taxation, except it's not being decided by elected representatives, so it's basically just straight up theft of the value of your work product.  

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 16:09 | 3064011 Seer
Seer's picture

"The Fed can create USD's at will, they have the specific and exclusive authority to do so."

Is that correct?  I thought that printing was supposed to happen at the request of the US Treasury?

"so it's basically just straight up theft of the value of your work product."

But... according to the perfect market theories the USD (and other currencies) should be dictated by the market.  That would mean that the value of the USD (and others) would be subject to change.  And it's "change" that's then responsible for altering your "work product."

Not arguing that there are elements (or even substantial truths) to what you are saying, but I have to question whether the alteration by free markets couldn't also result in what you're saying.

All stated, it's really kind of silly scrutinizing things at some small level when the very premise itself is based on the improbable: perpetual growth on a finite planet.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:25 | 3063083 1eyedman
1eyedman's picture

as the WSJ indicated in Wed paper, the deficit 'could grow too slowly', as a % of GDP.   Wessel was the writer.   he basically said, no dont cut spending, we'll just grow our way out....going over the cliff will occur andnext year they will tweak items to get the favored their fav tax rates....and you heard it here most recently  'deficits dont matter'....per thw WSJ

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:26 | 3063085 OneTinSoldier66
OneTinSoldier66's picture

Government: An invention where everyone tries to live off of everyone else.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:31 | 3063106 HardlyZero
HardlyZero's picture

Waiting for Godot while the debt ceiling burns, and the floor drops out of the markets.  All in a large calliope playing flatbed truck financed by fiat and creative banking.  Better to get this all over with quickly to see what pops out the other the Snake River Canyon in the Truax built Skycycle X-2....will we make it to the other side of the canyon ?  or will we spike through the center of the Earth to the other side ?   What will happen ?  when ?  Soon I hope while I am young, strong, and coherent.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:19 | 3063346 The Joker
The Joker's picture

There's a reason it's called Hell's Canyon, which sits just below the Seven Devils peaks.  Drink down some Southern Comfort and strap yourself in. 

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:36 | 3063119 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Pussies...thats all they are. They planned to bankrupt us for decades and take us down and now that we're here, arrived at the 'cliff edge' really years ago, they're now too cowardly to take us over because I believe they know THEY end up losing. 

All sounded really cool and a great idea on paper, this '1 world slave state', I think they wargamed it out and found it will never actually work. 

I believe thats where we are today.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:23 | 3063385 The Joker
The Joker's picture

Oh, it will work.  Everything is going as planned.  The IMF can't implement the new global currency until all the other currencies burn up, especially the USD.  Democracy has to burn too, and burning it is, but not the kind of bright burning beacon light you normally associate with it.  Absolute Power can not co-exist with democracy.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 16:21 | 3064106 Seer
Seer's picture

They're just doing what they've always been doing.  Guaranteed to happen as long as people keep buying the notion that there needs to be gods and masters (and with "inheritance" unchecked you can keep it all going).

I don't, however, believe that the intent is to fuck people over so much as it's a matter of trying to save their own bacon.  Growing populations and declining resources mean that eventually something would give.  These folks will go down with this Titanic, they know no other ship: and, there are no life-rafts (for them, they only think that there are).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 19:18 | 3064914 Element
Element's picture

Seriously seer, you're hooked on a couple of axioms, and have lost persective.  You need to step back and rethink the alleged finality of what you think is happening, or going to happen.

BTW, you don't know, admit it, you'll like it.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 13:57 | 3063178 gatorengineer
gatorengineer's picture

Does no one understand that going off the cliff is what they want?  We get a recession, more stimulus, more stimulus more printing.  Somewhere around QE 37, the goverment will start buying equities, because they will own all of the debt......  Around QE40 we will be at full communism.  This will be around 2020, and we will have a one world government.


What is amazing to me, is that they are able to keep the price of gold down, and equities up........

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:05 | 3063226 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

Perhaps it's time for the so called 53% to appreciate most government transfer payments go to them. IF they knew how to grow anything beyond massive control frauds there wouldn't be a 47% reliant on poverty to keep the fraud of the majority rolling.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 17:45 | 3064589 Seer
Seer's picture

Clear all fraud and debt and we'd still be trying to figure out how we can squeeze more out of the planet (something that is a mathematical certainty will end).

This is what the end of growth looks like.  People can't recognize it because it's never been allowed to be in our lexicon (the power brokers require us to not consider it).

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:45 | 3063519 Panafrican Funk...
Panafrican Funktron Robot's picture

Either way, dollar devaluation, because we're FUCKING BROKE, PERIOD, AND THERE IS NO SOLUTION.


1.  Tax increases = reduced consumption and investment = lower GDP = dollar deval. to prop GDP

2.  Spending cuts = reduced gov. expenditure = lower GDP = dollar deval. to prop GDP.

3.  Spending hikes = greater deficit = dollar deval. to fund deficit

4.  Tax cuts = greater deficit = dollar deval. to fund deficit


Fri, 12/14/2012 - 14:50 | 3063541 dadichris
dadichris's picture

Is there one single economist out there to show mathematically how economic recovery is even possible over the next 20-25 years given the trends in demographics? Politicians are arguing over details that have no effect whatsoever over the long term. Therefore, the only rational course of action is to default and restructure.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 16:21 | 3064094 Thisson
Thisson's picture

Ok, I am going to go out on a limb here and state that the Fiscal Cliff is the financial equivalent of "Y2K" - it's a big nothingburger.  Think about it: if stimulus didn't help the economy, why would anti-stimulus hurt the economy?

The only result of the fiscal cliff is shifting money from one subsector of GDP (C/I/G/X) to another sector.  GDP itself will not be affected, because there will be no net impact on the investment component of GDP, which is the only component that impacts the actual amount of goods and services produced. 

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 18:12 | 3064603 Element
Element's picture

Wow, cool, does that still work if the investors are 90% HFT bots or just with tax payers as 'investors'?

But if you want an example of what happens in 'anti-stimulous', by which you mean Greece, oh, sorry, by which you mean cutting-public-spending and Govt deficits in the form of harsh austerity policy, then I can't think of a single recent example of negative consequences of anti-stimulation. Think you might be on to something there. ;-)

But as for actual stimulous effect, well, you're economy is in nominal growth, no? Still here aren't you? Why are you so sure spending scads of benies didn't temporarily 'work'? I suspect it very clearly did, if kicked the can. So it 'worked'.

You're not thinking straight if you think cutting total spending is a nothingburger, and just a sectoral-balancing shell-game, because the consumer demand ain't going to be rushing to pick up the slack me thinks, via record food stamp numbers (and growing), and falling REAL wages, and a new rise in unemployment.

Enjoy the nothingburger, but never think the term "economic sectoral re-balancing" refers to an actual economy in balance, because that sure isn't what it's refering to, with regard to the practical-world of needing to eat somethingburgers.

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 18:22 | 3064721 mind_imminst
mind_imminst's picture

I predict they will kick the can. They will extend and pretend. Why do ANYTHING when the FED is ready to monetize EVERYTHING? Why risk your political career. DC did it before (extend and pretend). Why would they not do it again? Really, why would they make a compromise or go over the cliff?

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 18:48 | 3064830 jonerot
jonerot's picture

Just thought of a new Orwellian 1984 acronym:  MINIPOOR

The Ministry of Money; a.k.a.  the FED

Fri, 12/14/2012 - 19:14 | 3064896 sbenard
sbenard's picture

Mr. Market is assuming that Boehner will buckle -- again!

But he may just end up getting dumped by his own party, or there may be a rebellion in the ranks!

It is going to get interesting!

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