Well, we got through the notorious day 12-12-12, when doomsday Mayan hieroglyphics foretold the end of the world.
Aren't you relieved? But we are not out of the woods. There are others who believe those Mayans foretold the Winter Solstice on Dec. 21 as the true day of destruction for all of us.
And there's that dreaded fiscal cliff, which is yet another Mayan type prophecy of economic Armageddon.
So now, while we celebrate this holiday season, Americans still have to worry if the first day of winter season will be the start of their eternal journey, and more importantly, whether our elected leaders in Washington can forestall the impact of the draconian cuts that are due to take place at the start of the New Year.
It's a lot of doomsday nervous tension to deal with, right?
To be honest, despite the political hype and drama unfolding in Washington, I've become numb sitting on an economic death row to the ad nauseum fiscal cliff drama -- and reconciled that this political crisis marked by same old gridlock and Orwellian hype will continue to the last minute. Either no resolution will take place, sending our economy into a tailspin, or yet another temporary fix will be implemented to push our doom up a little into the future.
I'm at the point where I know, deal or no deal, it's going to cost me a lot more of income I don't have and take away a lot of benefits, deductions, and relief my parent's generation is splurging on now, no matter what.
Sure, it's a big issue; in fact, if we do go over that cliff, it's a generational game changer.
If a combination of nearly $600 billion in tax hikes and indiscriminate spending cuts set to take effect Jan. 2 are not prevented, we're being told our military will be crippled, Americans will be buried with additional taxes causing yet another recession (like we ever climbed out of the first one), and unemployment will go back into double digits.
But even if they come to an agreement, it will be surely, at most, a Band-Aid rather than a cure to the significant, systemic economic problems that continue not to be addressed in overall federal spending and tax policy.
Despite the allegedly enormous consequences, no one in Washington our nation's capital is really focused, or even interested, in compromising their dogmatic beliefs and implementing changes toward repairing our government's debt, the way it does business, and most importantly, eliminating waste and duplication and increasing governmental efficiencies.
From the start of the fiscal cliff debate, the president has dug in his heels about one issue -- he's going to make sure the top 2 percent wealthiest taxpayers lose the advantages they gained with the past Bush tax cuts and pay more in the future. In his weekly address last Saturday, Obama made it emphatically clear that increasing taxes on the wealthiest Americans is "one principle I won't compromise on."
This fixation by Obama has masterfully steered the conversation away from permanently changing the financing, the structure, and eligibility parameters for the true driver of our nation's debt -- mandatory spending programs, like Medicare and Social Security. And the Republicans, weakened by infighting and a lingering perception that our economic woes are the fault of former president George W. Bush and the GOP, can't get it together and move that conversation forward.
So, basically, we are really doomed.
My suggestion: The best way to relieve all this doomsday malaise is to just gorge out on some Hanukkah latkes, my favorite food this time of year and one I make the best (for the recipe, check out my website) before the first day of winter.
In this Mayan season of Armageddon, for me, it's the perfect last meal residing on the fiscal cliff green mile.
Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers.
Published in Sun Sentinel on Dec. 13, 2012.