The Certainty of Uncertainty

Uncertainty seems to be one of the favorite words for republicans to pull out when they are trying to explain why a particular  situation is bad.  Last month they were very concerned about the uncertainty business had to deal with over the up in the air status of the Bush tax cuts.

The one certainty of this uncertainty is that it is a load of crap.

In the first place, when was there ever certainty?

Further, the extension of the tax cuts for two years apparently did away with the uncertainty.  Any business person can tell you how he or she only considers the next two years when contemplating investing tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars.   Even if the two years was enough certainty, that “two years of certainty” only existed for a few days.  Then the two years started and now it is less.

And if extending the tax cuts for two years did away with uncertainty, would not have allowing the tax cuts to lapse have also done away with uncertainty?  I did not hear any republican mentioning that.

Another example is the health care reform.  It passed.  It is law.  That is as certain as it is going to get (again, not all that certain, but…).  Republicans have gone on and on about how they are going to undo the law with few specifics about how they would change it.  Who is introducing uncertainty?

There have been rumblings from Republicans to not vote to raise the debt ceiling.  What might happen if the debt ceiling is not raised?  Seems like there is plenty of uncertainty there.

There has been enough rhetoric on both sides to suggest that it is not beyond the pale that the government could well be shut down sometime in the next two years if agreement on budgets can not be reached.  A government shutdown presents all kinds of uncertainty.

Finally, sooner or later, the federal debt, if allowed to continue growing at present rates (or even Bush rates!), will cause significant problems for the US economy.   Most agree we are still several trillion dollars away (a few years) before such problems become plausible, but no one really knows.  The debt is practically the definition of uncertainty.  But Republicans continue to pretend that the deficit can be solved with discretionary spending cuts and tweaking of entitlements.  It cannot be solved this way.   Until the deficit is seriously addressed, there is no end of uncertainty.

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