A Little Man’s Job

The “Little Men (and Women)” on Capital Hill high fived last evening as Congress finally passed compromise legislation opening Government and avoiding a debt default.  You would have thought these elected officials had passed Immigration Reform, Gun Control, and Tax Reform all in the same day if you thought about their behavior.  Wow, indeed.

As in most matters, the majority were silent.  The loud mouths from the right declared victory, while both Parties’ leadership praised the bi-partisan effort.  “It was really, really tough,” said Harry Reid.  Hmmm.

In a town where there seems to be little consideration of the consequences of Congressional actions, moving beyond this crisis can only be viewed as very temporary relief.  What earthly good did shutting the Government down and putting thousands of government employees in a cash flow emergency (not to mention the enormous inconveniencing of millions of Americans) do?  And even worse, what purpose did threatening default on the US borrowing power serve?  The GOP strategy was greedy, self serving, and suicidal.

Looking beyond the stupidity (not going anywhere) of trying to hold President Obama hostage by attacking the Affordable Care Act, Republicans did have other issues and concerns they though legitimate.

For example, there still exists no clear bi-partisan path to a balanced budget.  There exists no consensus on just how large a national debt is safe, not in good times like now, but in bad times which could come in the future.  Entitlements and health care in general elicit quite different views from Democrats and Republicans.  What would a reasoned, fact based debate look like?

And what about every politicians’ friend, Defense Spending?  If we can’t afford current deficits, then how can we afford the current levels of Defense Spending?  Would the GOP forego spending on infrastructure, entitlements, and other social safety net policies in order to afford a robust Defense budget?  And would Democrats just say, put it on the charge card?

Sadly, today in Washington we do not have locusts.  Instead we have elected officials acting as if they were little men and women.  The job seems too big for them.

 

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