It’s December 27, 2012 and the country is on the precipice of an economic disaster because the US Congress can’t agree on an economic plan. Without action by our government the following will occur as of Tuesday January 1, 2013:
- No federal unemployment insurance. People who can’t find work will have no where to go to buy milk, eggs, etc. for their families.
- 2013 taxes will increase for everyone, by an average of $1,000.
- The US will reach it’s debt ceiling and we won’t be able to pay our debts, resulting in downgrading of our credit.
What’s the hold up? Why isn’t this done yet? Simply put, it’s because members of our government would rather irreparably damage the whole country, rather than compromise or accept the results of the recent election. Most of Americans believe in a balanced approach to make tough cuts and raise taxes only on the rich minority in the country. The same stance President Obama ran on and won handily, essentially giving him a “mandate” from the country to move ahead with his plan. The last round of negotiations showed one side negotiating in good faith while the other barely budging.
On a daily basis I teach my children to compromise (on sharing toys) and to be assertive but that they can’t always get their way. Then I see this government act the way it has, both during the past election year and even now. To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. Partisan politics is nothing new. But historically partisan politics was put aside in defense or in protection of the union. President Reagan and (former Speaker of the House from Mass.) Rep. Tip O’Neil were recent examples but there are others. As I write this I realize I’m an idealist when it comes to government. Some may think it wrong to have such high standards for government. But I’m a firm believer in aiming for high standards and responsibilities for those in power, maybe not personally but at least in terms of governing. There will always be disappointments because our government is made up of humans and we all make mistakes. But that idealism is the same that drives me to instill values in my children. I’m seeing reports of an impromptu meeting with the leaders of the US House and Senate with the President tomorrow. I pray a deal is stuck and statesmanship wins out over partisan posturing. We’ll see. If my kids were old enough I’d explain that this is not the way to do things and to expect better from themselves and certainly from their government.