Sheesh! I’d say this pretty much kills the idea that 2011 might somehow end on an up note, with more than gradual improvement either in the job market or in the general economic outlook. It’s pretty clear that something has to change more than gradually for there to be any kind of substantial improvement. But it’s also clear that what isn’t changing is the atmosphere of political partisanship and rancor that has basically ground our national government to a standstill where it comes to any meaningful policy initiatives.
So here’s what I have to say to the politicos in DC: Republicans, please lay down your ideological purity and recognize that budgeting often requires an increase in income as well as a decrease in spending. That’s just plain common sense. And Democrats, please let go of your sacred cows…err…I mean “entitlements,” with the idea that something has to give in the areas where costs continue to spiral out of control. Cuts are almost always warranted when and where costs go completely ballistic. And to both parties: as far as the “we can protect our favorite programs before the 2013 deadline kicks in for automatic budget cuts” mentality that is currently sweeping through the halls, offices, and byways in Congress: fuggeddaboutit!
You guys made the bed you’re currently lying in, and should let the system you set up to protect yourselves from voter backlack go to work. If you don’t have the ability to compromise your way into deficit reduction, let the miracle of mathematics do it for you. At least that way it will actually get done! Otherwise, that voter backlash is sure to be swift and harsh. And gosh, isn’t a third party that isn’t more concerned about taking the “high ground” away from its perennial opposition looking more and more appealing these days? Again: sheesh!