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Sunday, November 29, 2020

A ‘super’ failure Congress fails once again to deliver budget deal

Failure. Seems like a concept we should be well acquainted with when discussing our delegates in D.C.

Amid the international crises, ridiculous gaffes and a seemingly endless number of Republican candidate debates, the super committee deemed responsible for cutting $1.2 trillion off the national debt was unsuccessful. And now, we’re saddled with various leaders from each party pointing their fingers across the ever-widening aisle, eager to explain to the media why it’s the other party’s fault that we have a dysfunctional government.

Though the initial reaction to the super committee’s failure was shock and astonishment, my reaction was neither. How could a committee of 12 politicians, a committee equally balanced ideologically, prospect to come to an agreement when not but a few months ago leaders of both parties and the President himself failed to reach an agreement? Quite frankly, it was politics as usual that pushed this keg this far down the road. Our representatives didn’t feel like dealing with the problem when it should have been dealt with in the summer though nevertheless receiving a credit reduction so they delayed.

And now it’s surprising again that no middle ground can be found? How ridiculous. With extremists and career politicians running our government, both unyielding in negotiations and unable to see anything but the next election, it’s amazing anything gets done!

Both sides are to blame. There’s no point trying to apportion more or less blame to either side; it boils down to the fact that our government is running on continuing resolutions passed every month and the old men’s club is playing the blame game. Point the finger at the other side and yell, “this is your fault!” enough, and hey, you’ll probably get reelected.

Meanwhile, anyone who attempts to show any sort of political leadership is criticized by extremists of his or her party and encouraged to stand with the party status quo. Negotiation and bipartisan legislation simply requires an understanding on both sides that one must give in order to take. Not just take, take, take and then expect everyone to be happy.

Since Congress failed to come to an accord, our government is now encumbered by a sequester that will take effect in 2013, as our president already declared his intent to veto legislation that comes his way that prevents the automatic cuts from taking effect.

While the sequester will teach the children on Capitol Hill that their actions or rather, in-actions have consequences, allowing the sequester to become effective means allowing for automatic cuts to devastate the Department of Defense’s budget. And, while social programs like Medicare and Social Security are saved from the gauntlet, Education will surely be one of the first departments to see further budget cuts, as always.

Now, there’s certainly no simple solution, and any compromise will undoubtedly stir angst among some. But rather than catering to the wants and needs of the political extremists, it’s about time politics as usual is put to an end and our representatives actually do their jobs.

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