The election is over and Hurricane Sandy has passed, just in time for us to careen over the edge of the so-called "fiscal cliff." More important than the fact that we stand at the edge of the cliff is how we got here in the first place. Rather than addressing our fiscal problems, Washington's strategy has long been to kick them far enough down the road so as not to interfere with upcoming elections. The scary part is that every time we do this, the cliff gets steeper.
From August 2011 to January 2012 Congress increased the nation's debt ceiling three times, adding $2 trillion and bringing the ceiling to $16.4 trillion. That money will be gone by Christmas. With the election in the rearview mirror, Congress is posturing to increase the debt ceiling yet again, this time by $2.4 trillion to nearly $18.8 trillion. If they are successful, it will have been raised a total of $8 trillion over the past four years.