Kicking the Can…

By: Patti Bankson

The “Silver Bullet” failed. After all the tension and bickering, the financial compromise, the bill that Harry Reid said has brought us back from the brink of disaster, isn’t making anybody happy. Including the stock market, which, as of last Tuesday, the very day the Senate voted for it, was down for the eighth straight day… and is predicted to continue to drop. And, although this bill was supposed to prevent a drop in our credit rating, that remains to be seen. I guess that’s part of the irony here, isn’t it? After all the wrangling and bickering, one of the credit rating agencies did say that we can keep our AAA rating, but our future rating is being down-graded. The reason given is exactly the reason we should all be critical of not only the process, but the result, as well: the underlying foundation has not been changed. For all the talk of “kicking the can down the road”, that’s exactly what’s been done.

I know some want to believe that it was the conservatives… the “crazy” Tea Party people… made the process more difficult, and more drawn out than necessary. But that’s wrong. For proof of how wrong, just look in the direction of the White House and the Democrats, starting with the failure to produce a budget for 800+ days. Next, check out the president’s “little” speech announcing financial Armaggedon had been averted. Being the dyed-in-the-wool political animal he is, he used the opportunity to segue into yet another campaign speech. Sounding like a broken record, he spoke again of “investing” (translated: spending) in research, infrastructure, education… yada, yada, yada.

One of the new bill’s features that is the clearest indicator of how reliable our leaders are when it comes to turning over a new fiscal leaf is what they’re calling “triggers”. They’re supposed to be some kind of fail-safe mechanism. The very fact that they felt the triggers were even necessary should be a huge red flag in, and of, itself. Another huge red flag should be the way so many of them (on both sides) started stuttering whenever a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution was mentioned. Why are they so afraid of being expected to balance the nation’s budget? Oh, yeah… that’s right… they might have to actually produce a budget in order to have something to balance. Forty-nine of the fifty states are constitutionally required to balance their budgets … if it’s good enough for the parts, why isn’t it good enough for the whole?

So many questions remain… unanswered. And it doesn’t sound like we can expect any answers, or changes, for that matter, any time soon. In fact, it looks like the Capitol Hill denizens feel they’ve done enough work to merit a summer vacation. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe if they get an earful from their constituents (us) while they’re at home, they’ll start to get it… they’ll come back to work and actually do the work we want them to do… no more quick fixes, sloppy governance or accounting. And, no more putting ideology ahead of American people, by anybody, on either side. Period.

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© 2011 Patti Bankson

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