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Are the lawmakers on Capitol Hill "tilting at windmills"?

Don Quixote Picasso

Is the United States Congress "tilting at windmills" by using heavy artillery of political spin over trifling negotiations that is not worth all that futile struggle? The current budget quandary can be compared to the Spanish classic Don Quixote. The author writes about a somewhat confused hero who goes forth to right the world’s wrongs. He encounters some windmills that he imagines to be menacing giants on his journeys. He fights this losing battle as he attacks the windmills with his rusty sword. The end result is that he falls exhausted.

Our Congress is wearing itself out in a very similar fashion to Don Quixote. In part, this is the situation: The Democrats are proposing a combination of spending cuts and tax increasing for upper income households. The Republicans propose raising revenue by limiting deductions such as cutting out or limiting mortgage interest and tax deductions for homeowners. Both sides are saying the other will not compromise. Sanity can be found somewhere in this battle of the windmills but the necessary wisdom appears to the sorely lacking.

Is the American public worried about this dilemma that has been dubbed the “fiscal cliff”? Those of us in Atlanta are concerned and I believe the American voters made some choices on Election Day. Will those choices be ignored or will the fighting continue over political windmills that are not worth the time and energy?

Perhaps sanity can be restored before our lawmakers fall on their proverbial swords and before Atlanta and the entire country become completely exhausted. There is a quote by Walter Reuther (American labor union leader) that sums up the responsibility of lawmakers that encompasses why they are elected in the first place: "There is no greater calling than to serve your fellow men. There is no greater contribution than to help the weak. There is no greater satisfaction than to have done well."


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