Don't push me cause I'm close to the edge I'm trying not to lose my head, ah huh-huh-huh It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder How I keep from going under It's like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder How I keep from going under
-- Grandmaster Flash, The Message
Christmas gifts are open, return lines are long, credit cards are maxed out, bank accounts are in the negative, bellies are full, and all the family is gone. We had dreams of Christmas day coming, now the nightmare of the next day is here, and the bills are being printed waiting for that ever so popular next billing cycle.
While sitting on your couch after everyone has gone and wrapping paper that once was sprawled all over the living room is all cleaned up, you turn on your TV hoping to leave the North Pole behind and catch up on what's going on in the real world. Quickly you realize that there was a fiscal cliff that was talked about weeks ago, that is ever more real, as it looms just a few days away. That's right, the fiscal cliff, curb, crisis is coming. As reality starts to seep back in, the thought of the one last gift card you purchased comes to mind as you whispered to yourself "I will have to pay this credit card off when I get my tax refund."
I was at the White House a few weeks ago and listened to President Barack Obama talk about #my2k, the two-thousand dollr difference that the average American stands to lose if Congress doesn't act and we jump off the cliff. Now, with just a few days away, an average person like myself realizes how much that 2k really means. On top of that, folks depending on unemployment are now forced to worry about whether they will see another dollar to make ends meet, and oddly enough to buy a gallon of milk.
The Washington Post reports:
"Distracted by dealing with the Bush tax cuts, lawmakers are running out of time to pass the latest version of the country's sweeping farm bill and avoid what's become known as the "dairy cliff." If Congress misses the Jan. 1 deadline, the price of milk could rise significantly -- some say by more than $3 a gallon -- as the country's farm policy reverts back to laws dating from 1949."
Maybe I should have left Santa a sip rather than a whole cup.
While many Americans are in the business of trying to figure out how to get our personal fiscal houses in order, after we wrecked them in love and gifts, nothing can make it more difficult than thinking about the money that won't come during tax time. However, all Congress has to do, is pass a bill extending tax cuts for those of us who are just trying to keep from going under. Instead, political posturing has reared its ugly head again, and government wheels are moving at a pace slower than the return line at you local big box store.
According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, "The current salary (2011-2012) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year."
That's $7,250 every two weeks.
Meanwhile, the median income of a household according to the U.S Census Bureau: "Real median household income in the United States fell between the 2010 ACS and the 2011 ACS, decreasing by 1.3 percent from $51,144 to $50,502."
Which is just about $2,000 every two weeks.
That explains why republican congressman are dragging their feet, more than likely they won't feel the thump of the fall. For some, it won't even feel like a stumble
The Hill reports: "This year's wealthy list tilts decisively once again toward the right side of the aisle, with 31 of the 50 richest coming from the GOP. Thirty-one of the lawmakers on the list are from the House, with the remaining 19 coming from the Senate."
For the rest of us regular folks out here, the devastating effect of post-holiday depression will become real and nothing contributes to that more than trying to figure out how to sort out your finances, or deal with the looming date of unemployment due to temporary holiday hiring.
So what should you do? Well, I believe the best way to beat post-holiday financial frustration is to take to the phone, email, Twitter, and Facebook and remind the Republican congressman in your area who hold the the keys to delivering us from high milk prices, unemployment lapses, and further financial strain and let them know that 2k may not seem like much to them, but don't push us, cause we are close to the edge, and we are trying not to, lose our heads.
Call your congressman now, and urge them to support an effort to extend tax cuts for the middle class. Your post-holiday sanity depends on it.
Click here to find your congressman.
Follow Reverend Charles E. Williams II on Twitter: www.twitter.com/therevcw