The Fiscal-Cliff Mirage
Without meaningful course correction, America is doomed.

Speaker John Boehner and President Barack Obama


Mark Steyn

Then, in the small hours of the morning, the legislature rubber-stamped it. That’s repulsive.

There’s a term for societies where power brokers stitch up the people’s business in back rooms and their pseudo-parliaments sign off on it at 3 a.m., and it isn’t a “republic of limited government by citizen-representatives.”


There are arguments to be made in favor of small government: My comrades and I have done our best over the years, with results that, alas, in November were plain to see. There are arguments to be made in favor of big government: The Scandinavians make them rather well. But there is absolutely nothing to be said for what is now the standard operating procedure of the Brokest Nation in History: a government that spends without limit and makes no good-faith effort even to attempt to balance the books. That’s profoundly wicked. At a minimum, the opposition, to use a quaint term, should keep the people’s business out in the sunlight and not holed up in a seedy motel room with Joe Biden all night.

The fiscal cliff was a mirage. If Washington was obliged to use the same accounting procedures as your local hardware store, the real national debt would be at least ten times greater than the meaningless number they’re now going to spend the next two months arguing over. That’s to say, we’re already over the fiscal cliff but, like Wile E. Coyote, haven’t yet glanced down at our feet and seen there’s nothing holding us up. In a two-party system, there surely ought to be room for one party that still believes in solid ground.

But hey, maybe we can thread all that algae into a climbing rope . . . 

Mark Steyn, a National Review columnist, is the author of After America: Get Ready for Armageddon. © 2013 Mark Steyn