Beware that fall from fiscal cliff

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It is just a couple of weeks before Christmas and we are all grateful for the season. For this brief time we can shed our concerns, bask in the holiday spirit. It is the one time of year we can relax and forget our woes.

As 2012 nears the end of her flight, much like a 727 trying to land in 100 mph winds, your humble correspondent has put his worries behind him. Like, as a young friend of mine would say, I am totally not worried.

Except for the fact I am heading for a fiscal cliff. I don’t even know what to wear. An inner tube? Does Amazon sell economic parachutes? I am not quite sure what a “fiscal cliff” is, although I love the name. I expect the “fiscal cliff” is a result of our “irrational exuberance” fostered by the policies of “dumb butt politicians,” “bonehead bureaucrats” and “greedy bankers.” I especially enjoy mentioning “greedy bankers” because that is the only group less popular than “weak-kneed liberal mainstream media sheep.”

A survey of 347 articles interviewing learned economists revealed no two of them agree on how to best avoid the fiscal cliff, although most agree the worst that can happen is the government will confiscate every dollar in your bank account and give you two weeks to move.

I personally think the economy is in pretty good shape and I don’t need some Harvard pinhead spouting unintelligible statistics to the contrary. Here’s a simple tool. Drive past your local Ford dealer. If he has loaded the front row with $40,000 trucks, as is the case in my town right now, go ahead and buy her the diamond. When he is pushing $15,000 Fiestas, don’t spend a dime of that savings.

But, hey, it’s that time of year and maybe I should just simply wish you “Happy Holidays” and be done with it. But, whoops, that gives me something else to worry about. This is the time of year some folks get all uptight when someone says “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”

Let me be clear on this: I believe Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Period. That’s what I believe. You believe what you want to believe. That’s how it works in a country blessed with freedom to worship as we wish. Or not.

No, I won’t be boycotting any big box stores whose banners omit the word “Christmas,” nor when gift shopping will my spirituality be threatened by a sales lady who offers a cheery “Season’s Greetings!” I don’t think the country is headed for a “Christmas Cliff.” I am not under the illusion Target or Wal-Mart is going to throw a Midnight Mass. I have somewhere else to go for that.

That’s the entire catalog of my worries for now. Like, totally. Except, wait a minute. Guns. I have picked up a couple of journalistic heroes in recent days. They are two: Fox News columnist Jason Whitlock, who said Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovar Belcher and the mother of his infant daughter would be alive today if it were not for lax guns laws. And Bob Costas, who had the guts to endorse Whitlock’s comments on national television.

Stop! Don’t write. What if Belcher had been having a peaceful breakfast with his girl, a thug broke into the home, and he used the handgun to protect himself? I get it. But that is not what happened, and is not what happens repeatedly in our society when unstable people go over the edge. The odds would seem heavily stacked in favor of guns gone wild rather than guns used for protection.

Okay, I am now, like, totally exhausted with all these weighty ideas. So let me end by simply wishing you a Blessed Christmas.

Ned Cantwell welcomes response at ncantwell@bajabb.com.