The U.S. political system has long been visibly broken. I guess the good news is that it can't get much worse.
It's also blindingly obvious, however, that the bad news is equally apparent; it won't get better anytime soon either.
So now that we're adding ObamaCare to the other unaffordable rights/entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, the national debt, both official ($17 trillion) and real (~$200 trillion counting promised but underfunded entitlements) will keep piling up each day until the unsustainable bubble finally bursts sometime down the road.
And to add to the shame of it, although we current voters are really sticking it to our offspring and future generations to follow, we don't want to hear any talk about Social Security and Medicare unaffordability (too unpleasant, I guess), so the politicians on either side of the aisle don't even mention it when addressing either the ills or 'wonderfulness' of ObamaCare.
When will it change? Only when We the People demand that the changes that need to take place begin, and we seriously rein in entitlements spending down the road and allow the private sector to take the lead in creating economic growth and new jobs for our citizens. To paraphrase President Reagan, more and more government knows best "do-gooderism" isn't the answer; it's the problem.
The Beltway Stalemate is subtitled 'Democrats and Republicans have never had such a conflict of visions.'" Here's what it says:
"The debate about military action in Syria seems over for now, and Washington
is back in campaign mode. We have a president who seems to have nothing but
disdain for those who disagree with him, who forsakes no opportunity to attack
congressional Republicans, and who is in full agreement with congressional
Democrats that government is the key to creating jobs, prosperity and equality.
We have Republicans who feel they cannot trust the president, are more dubious
than ever of the government's ability to make the right decisions, and who think
such decisions belong instead with individuals, families and businesses. What we
don't have is much in the way of an incentive, or even a desire, to
To a certain extent, this friction reflects the overall coarsening of
discourse, but much of it results from the fact that the parties differ so much
in their views about how the world works, and those views seem to drift further
apart every congressional term. The anti-ObamaCare backlash in the 2010 midterm
elections drove many moderate Democrats from office, moving the Democratic
caucus to the left. The tea-party influence and efforts by groups like the Club
for Growth to fund conservative Republicans have moved the Republican caucus to
the right. In an environment of attack ads and 24-hour cable-news bickering and
blustering, few Democrats or Republicans want to make any concession to the
At times like this, it is almost impossible for policies and legislation to
be evaluated on the merits. That's obviously not an environment conducive to
reasoned decision-making. It's a shame, because there are significant policy
issues that could be successfully resolved if we could just strip away
Washington's nonstop campaign mentality and combative nature.
The largest of these issues is the future of ObamaCare. Any clear-eyed
thinking would show that ObamaCare needs to be, at the least, delayed. The law
has always suffered from its usurpation of the physician-patient relationship,
its infringement on First Amendment freedoms of Christian businesses and
entities, and its stifling of the innovation and flexibility our health-care
system needs. We now see the Obama administration unilaterally delaying parts of
the law, Congress working to ensure members and their staffs are not burdened by
the new rules, and concerns that ObamaCare computer systems will be unready for
the enrollment that starts in a few days. We continue to find "glitches," price
shocks and other surprises throughout the legislation and its related rules.
ObamaCare really is the train wreck we've feared, and a nonpartisan Congress
would work together to delay it, fix it, or replace it. Unfortunately,
Republicans have so far failed to articulate a market-based alternative, and
Democrats fall into two camps—one that truly believes in government control of
health care and one that refuses to abandon ship for fear of how it would look
to admit their error in ramming through the legislation in 2010.
Tax reform is another area where our nation needs progress, but partisan
differences seem to stand in the way. There is broad support in Washington for
the theory of tax reform, but the parties are miles apart on the specifics. The
White House and congressional Democrats think of tax reform as a way to increase
taxes, especially on "the rich," while Republicans want a broader tax base and
lower rates. Democrats want to increase and reallocate the tax burden, but
Republicans want to remove disincentives for job creation and shrink the burden
for all by growing the economy, which they think will happen by making the tax
code more efficient.
Almost all the significant issues requiring action in Washington show similar
fault lines between the parties. Whether addressing spending control,
entitlement reform, gun control, education or energy policy, the White House and
congressional Democrats want government in control of the major decisions, while
Republicans want individuals, families and businesses interacting in a market to
make the decisions.
A study of history, economics and sociology would show that the Republican
push for individual responsibility and market-based choice, while never yielding
perfect outcomes, is the better approach. Unfortunately, it's unlikely the White
House or the Democrats, clinging to their view of government as decision-maker
and allocator of resources, will ever agree. Nor do Republicans, who control but
one house of Congress, have much power to force the issue. With the parties so
far apart in their beliefs, it seems the only way to see movement in Washington
is by changing the partisan mix of officeholders. It does not hurt to be
reminded every once in a while that elections matter."
We the People get the government we deserve.
Let's hope we start believing that we deserve better than what we're getting now.
Until then, take time to watch the football games this autumn and try to tune out the non-stop B.S. emanating from the politicians and media pundits.