Whew! Thanks to some rational people we avoided the “fiscal cliff.” And since all sides hate it, it probably isn’t as bad as the whiners make it out to be. Of course, we only postponed the big battle for a few months. It is amazing that we have some people on Capitol Hill – on both sides – that seem to think this version of chicken is now an acceptable ongoing game for the American economy.
Why is it that the concept of compromise seems to be such an anathema to the politicians today? Do these men and women seriously think that they are the only ones who know the “truth?” Last time I checked, none of these extremists — on the left who want to spend every dime they can get their hands on or those on the right who think we can recover the economy by cutting spending in every aspect of America overnight — have a direct line to a higher power who is telling them how to go forward.
So, let’s guess when we will have another crisis. We’ll have two months at the longest since that is the time that, once again, Congress has given itself to put off the spending fights. We also have the fun of the debt ceiling fight. That is another interesting issue from an outsider’s point of view. Have you noticed that the same people who want to suddenly limit the debt ceiling — and, therefore, guarantee U.S. bills not being paid and a lowering of the U.S. credit rating — are not volunteering to give up their salaries and benefits in order to contribute? So many of our elected leaders are willing to take our taxes and pay themselves but not to do the work that we pay them to do.
In trying to figure out why we have reached the point that we have, I cannot but wonder if the 24-hour news cycle with shows such as Morning Joe, Rush Limbaugh, etc., are not the largest contributor to the problem. After all, the talking heads on these shows get to pontificate and harass constantly. Any politician can get on television and blow hot air because all the shows need to fill the minutes. Then the hosts get to yell and scream (and they do) about their pet issue and fuel the fire of both sides. Perhaps what we should do is boycott all news shows that last more than 30 minutes? Perhaps this might affect the ratings so much that the various hosts will get thrown off the air?
In the morning, we could then watch reruns of “I Dream of Genie” or “Bat Masterson” or anything else. We would be absolutely no worse off. We, amazingly, survived for over 200 years without listening to all the pontification, threats, and overblown egos. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that the people we elected have made more responsible decisions when they did not have to deal with the constant media noise.
This probably will not happen, I know, but it is fun to imagine! A great way to start 2013.
P.S. An aside about the media: I have noticed that more and more reporters and anchors are incapable of speaking correct English — even American English. “Me and the other reporters” is just one example of speaking that drives any English teacher crazy. Do we not require employees on news shows or commentators to be able to speak correctly? I guess not.