We’ve had a fairly chilly and frequently gray holiday season here in Chapelboro. It seems fitting, not only to the calendar, but to the events that marked the end of 2012. From the destruction of Hurricane Sandy to the devastation in Newtown, CT, the end of this past year seemed blighted.
As I write this, the chilly gray weather continues, but I expected the psychic gray to lift and not just because the calendar turned a page. I couldn’t believe men and women paid to represent this country would dare be irresponsible enough to let the year turn without protecting our fragile economy. I was sure I’d awake to not only a new year but to a new deal (if not a New Deal) that would, in varying degrees, ask the wealthiest to pay more, lower the deficit and create a framework to cross the idealogical divide in our nation.
And so I did. But now that wee-hours agreement struck in the U.S. Senate is under threat in the U.S. House of Representatives. This makes me feel gray but see red. How dare they be paid by us and show fealty to an ideology only and not to the citizenry? Do they care more about the ideology than the nation’s credit rating? Do they care more about the ideology than the economy’s need for solid footing? Apparently they do. Are they not required to pledge an oath to their country? Their WHOLE country?
These ideologues give up any claim to ever being called statesmen (or women) from the second they scuttle this deal. Their legacy will be as obstructionists.
I write this in anger, as you may have gathered. And cooler heads may prevail in Washington and I will be eternally grateful to have been wrong (yes, it’s true). But why is compromise now considered unacceptable by some? And why did it take so long when everyone knew this deadline was looming?
For every day there is no deal, do the lawmakers not get paid? Not receive their stellar benefits package? Is there any way to make sure the infractions of the 112th Congress aren’t repeated? Oh, yeah, we do get to throw them out.
Our towns are replete with both the highly educated and the super smart (and some outstanding folks who are both!). Could I impose on a historian with a calm temperament to either comment below or post separately about how and when or if this country’s elected leaders will stop acting like schoolchildren protecting their own questionably-built forts. Or, send me serene thoughts of sunny days ahead to Donnabeth@Chapelboro.comhttp://chapelboro.com/columns/savvy-spender/muted-joy