I’m finding myself rather depressed today reading news of the so-called “debt compromise” that the House and Senate appear to have come to. Basically, in my limited understanding of state budgets and economics, Senate leader Reid, House Majority leader Boehner and the Obama admin have all caved to the most extreme factions of American politics and deliberately kicked the can on the most serious problems that face our country.
Americans wanted tax increases on the wealthy, and comprehensive reform to close tax loopholes that don’t benefit anyone except the most privileged. Instead, what we get is a secret panel of political pundits hiding behind closed doors, making life changing decisions on who will have to bear the brunt of “sacrifice” for the benefit of the country. Schools will be closed, health care for poor people will fizzle out, and old people will be out on the street. The future, if today is any indication, seems nothing but bleak to me.
Closer to home, for me, future cuts will see that research monies will dry up, and a whole generation of educated, capable and dedicated young people will be left behind to serve coffee for a living rather than enter public service.
The economy will dry up as federal investment in infrastructure lies fallow, Tea Party influenced American unwilling or unable to understand the truly tight link between America’s economic successes and government, tax payer funded investment.
We cannot depend on the private sector to provide, for example, schools to raise our underclasses to become economically productive citizens. We cannot depend on the private sector to provide health care to keep America’s employable citizens from falling prey to chronic ills, a bill that gets levied to the tax payer in the form of both direct expenditures on health conditions treated too late, and on the great losses to the economy imparted by a population too fat and too sick to work.
Until Americans start learning the difference between election politics and true governance, nothing will change. The voter is taken by charisma and speculative rhetoric, such as that being delivered by both Romney and Bachmann. “I would have done things differently.” Well, maybe, but you aren’t in office, it’s easy to say what you would have done when you’re not sitting in the drivers chair. Americans love fantasies; so much, that we are willing to bet our futures on them.
I have this awful feeling that this “Tea Party success” of the extreme right wing will lead to the worst in the 2012 elections. Bachmann, politically bright, but intellectually weak, may get the nomination, she may even win the Presidency. Americans, weak in the face of perceived strength that disguises weakness, may even tips the tables of the Senate, leaving the country in the hands of the extreme right for some time to come.
Let us hope, however, that sense prevails.