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’Twas the night before Cliff-mas, and all through the House ( ** )

Cliff poem

Apologies to the author of “  ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas “


’Twas the night before Cliff-mas, and all through the House
Not a member was working, no
ideal to espouse;

Their offices closed, the
members all gone,

No solution for a budget plan
had yet to be drawn.

Our Congress had spent a year
feuding again,

While uncertainty and poor
growth plagued businessmen;

The economy had slowed,
unemployment was high,

Things weren’t looking up for
a taxpayer, like I.

On December 31st tax rates
were scheduled to rise,

Which many agreed was not in
itself wise.

With this, another date caught
the country’s fiscal fixation—

The second of January was set
for across-the-board sequestration.

I’d heard all the talk, all
the senators saying,

“If we’re spending this much,
someone has to be paying!”

The rhetoric from the news
droned on in my head,

As I turned off my light, and
crawled into bed.

When out on the Mall there
arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see
what was the matter.

It was the President! His
sudden arrival was thrilling,

He went after the Congress, he
called them by building:

“Now, Senate! Now, Hart! Now,
Russell and Dirksen!

On House! on Rayburn! on,
Longworth and Cannon!

The fiscal cliff is
approaching! We need to make cuts!

Bad policy and spending got us
into this rut!”

Out came the lawmakers, their
cheeks from sleep rosy,

I saw Boehner, Reid, McConnell
and Pelosi;

They gathered together, their
eyes straight ahead,

Some seemed optimistic, as the
president said:

“We need to end this
uncertainty, if we are to stay strong,

I know we can do it, if we all
get along.

We won’t hurt the middle
class, we’ll raise taxes on the wealthy!

It’s right for everyone to pay
a fair share to keep our economy healthy!”

Reid stepped up as well, his
voice rather hoarse,

“We know that we need to
include a few cuts, of course.

This deficit spending hurts
our economy in the long-run,

But for now, raising some
taxes will help everyone!”

“Now hold on one minute,”
Boehner said with a sigh,

“You know the tax increase you
propose is too high!

The wealthy you speak of—they
aren’t you and me;

They’re middle-class, and
small business owners you see!”

“You won’t close the tax
loopholes, you won’t lower our debt!

You’ll create a situation
where new investors will sweat!

We need tax reform, to resolve
all this clutter!”

He stepped back with a nod—the
crowd started to mutter.

Was he right? Was it true?
Could reform solve it all?

Or would a tax hike spur
investment and keep us from a fall?

It was the same talk I’d
heard, the same from before—

So I ran down the stairs, and
I opened the door:

“You say you’ll manage the tax
code, and cut wasteful spending,

But it’s these political
struggles that keep our economy pending!

We need real reform, not this
spending obsession;

‘Else this cliff should put us
in another recession!”

The lawmakers started, they
had not known I was there;

And they sputtered and
scattered and ran without care;

I watched them go and yelled
after them, as they took flight:

“Avoid the fiscal cliff for
all, and to YOU a good-night!”



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