First, understand the situation we are in:
- A vast swath of the electorate is beholden to a variety of governmental programs and hand-outs, and are reluctant to surrender them.
- Politicians, once in office, are elected mostly by not rocking the boat, and maintaining the status quo. in other words, continuing to deliver the goods for that dependent class.
- Further, the last stop on the political career of most politicians (Congress, Senate) lasts only 10 years or so, and incumbents just want to get re-elected thru their last term. After that, it's someone else's problem.
- The problem is that the status quo is entirely unsustainable. Interest on our debt will consume more and of the fruits of our productivity, resulting in steadily diminished standard of living, especially for the dependent class (see #1, above).
- Thus, there are only two possible avenues to sustain #1, above: (i) take increasingly more from the productive sector of the economy to continue to subsidize the unproductive sector of the economy or (ii) take on increasing amounts of debt, which merely accelerates and increases the effect of #4, above.
Somehow, they need to convince those in the productive sector of the economy to accept either higher taxes, or more debt, to allow the unsustainable spending to be sustained.
Thus, they devised, immediately post-election, a claimed calamity in the form of a solution to a prior claimed calamity, but an unacceptable solution to the debt and spending problem: tax increases and claimed draconian spending cuts that will force a recession and decemate a dependent nation.
So, run, hide, cover your heads, shriek in terror, and shiver in fear. The Cliff is coming, the Cliff is coming!
And to avoid the Cliff, you must -- or you certainly are unreasonable inflexible, and playing havoc with the economy of the nation -- support higher taxes and continued accumulation of debt.
Because the alternative -- the alternative that we ourselves devised -- is so awful that it can't be accepted.
So, finally, fully, and completely relent and allow us to have our higher taxes. Or the nation will collapse because of the legislative solution that we adopted only one year ago.