I recently wrote a post titled "What is the "fiscal cliff" and why should I care?" and concluded that we get the government we deserve, that our elected officials work for us and, as Clint Eastwood said at the Republican convention, if someone isn't doing their job, we have to let them go.
We are as I write this, at the brink of the cliff, and it pains me to say that we have a failed government. It would be easy to say the blame is with one party or another, but it's not. Both sides are inept and incompetent.
This is an entirely self-inflicted situation, created in 2011 when both sides failed in their attempt at the 'grand bargain', pushing this abhorrent solution to now, knowing it was so bad, that they had to negotiate some kind of deal to prevent another recession.
And yet...so far they have failed. Oh they might patch something together to save face before the day is done, but political ideology on both sides have caused this massive governmental failure.
I'm reminded of the situation in 1919 that caused the Boston Police to strike, despite a mutually respected mediator who negotiated a win-win for both sides. The police commissioner, Curtis, rejected the agreement at the last hour, pushing the city into days of riots. The sad thing is that the settlement was supported by nearly all parties, but Curtis was personally offended and therefore pushed the department into their only option - to strike.
There is so much good that could have happened to provide wins on both sides if our leaders worked together in Washington: overhauling a bloated, unfair tax code that is rigged to favor lobbyists' clout, simplifying it and making it fair for all; revamping medicare and keeping the good parts of Obamacare and eliminating the bad; working together to streamline the inefficiencies and rules hampering small businesses and unleashing a repressed economy waiting for some certainty, allowing our economy to thrive, as it normally does after a recession. Oh, and by the way - finally providing jobs to the record number of unemployed suffering at the hands of these politicians.
But in our toxic partisan environment, it won't happen. It is a lost opportunity on the grandest scale and for that I am sad. I am also angry. The president just granted congress a raise. They have failed at the job we elected them to do and instead of being fired, we have rewarded them. Is anyone else angry about this?