I saw late last night that a deal was reached on the debt ceiling. I’m not particularly relieved by this deal, nor do I think the people involved deserve applause for getting this deal done. It should have been done a long time ago without the petty bickering and childishness that took place over the last few weeks. It’s really nothing to celebrate when most of the people involved are not happy with it; that it was the best compromise we could get. We should be smarter than this. We should be better than this. We should be able to come together to agree on solutions that make sense for the country as a whole, as opposed to one particular group or the other. That we have been unable to do this–that we have come up with a solution that no one is particularly satisfied with is a reflection of just how poorly our leadership is doing across the board.
Taxes have become a bad word. We use the term “revenue” now as if it is somehow better. Our politicians aren’t willing to make sacrifices because they don’t think we are willing to make sacrifices. I don’t understand why Republicans are so opposed to tax increases and I don’t understand why Democrats are equally opposed to cutting some entitlement programs. The only way we are going to get out of this mess is if we all are willing to sacrifice some. Yes, it is painful, but that’s what sacrifice is. We go without for the greater good. Instead, we avoid it not because the country wouldn’t be willing to share the burden (which I suspect they would for a time), but because our representatives are afraid that a vote to increase taxes or cut key spending would be political suicide. Well, maybe it would, but they need to start making decisions based on what’s best for the country, not their careers.
I don’t expect relations between Republicans and Democrats to improve because of this deal. It was a deal that was forced on both because they bickered long enough to back themselves into a corner. If anything, I imagine things will get worse. As the election campaigns begin to heat up, each side will claim they saved the country from the brink of financial disaster, when if it wasn’t for their poor leadership in the first place, we wouldn’t be here.
Just wait until next December when the Bush tax cuts are set to expire. Should we take bets on whether they will or not?
At the rate things are going? I wouldn’t bet on cuts expiring. Aside from everything else, they are set to expire: (a) in an election season; (b) around the big holidays. Yeah, I don’t see that happening.