I am pretty apolitical. Politics and politicians don’t impress me, and haven’t for a very long time. As I see it:
On the one hand, you have President Obama and the Democrats who are trying to defend entitlements and eliminate tax cuts on the richest X% of the population. Oh yeah, they definitely need that debt ceiling raised.
The Republicans are trying to make some cuts, preserve the tax cuts to the richest X% of the population. The too want that debt ceiling raised.
Then there is the third party … the “Tea Party Republicans”. They want deep cuts to get the country out of debt trouble. They want traditional liberal entitlements cut. They want those Bush-era tax cuts to remain in place. From what I can tell, they would rather risk the economy (America’s and potentially some part of the world’s economy) to take a major hit in the process. That debt ceiling is not very important.
So we have a deal in place … the debt ceiling will be raised, the government won’t default, we still may lose our credit rating, the rest of the world doesn’t have a clue what is running our country.
Who do we hold responsible for this?
There’s the problem. The Democrats will blame the Republicans and Tea Party for being inflexible. The Republicans will blame the Democrats and Tea Party for being inflexible. The Tea Party … you see the pattern.
But what about those of us left in the middle who are members of none of the above? Is this as simple as “vote all of the bastards out and start over”?
Keep in mind, it was exactly that attitude that led to our third party gaining the power it has. In the end, the bigger mess could be: all of them were right, and all of them were wrong.
It is clear as day: we need to reign in spending. The days of “cut a few hundred million from the Interior Department” and “2 billion from NASA” are long gone. That has always been window dressing. There do need to be deep cuts to where the money really can be cut … that would be Social Security, Medicare, and the like.
More than that, there is every indication that those Bush-era tax cuts may have been good short term ideas, but are hurting the economy big time in the long term. They need to be severely reduced. Democrats aren’t going to like this.
On the flip side, there needs to be a restoration of faith in the U.S. government. That is, that our government will act in a responsible way. This means compromise, and negotiation. Oh, there will always be the need to get on TV, and pound your chest like a sexually frustrated ape in the middle of the forest … it makes for great theater, and politics is theater.
So, we need great change, and at the same time we need a return to normalcy. So far as I can tell, no one is out there saying we should do this.
And there is the problem.