We are personally appalled by the partisan brinkmanship in Washington right now–in which our “representatives” are putting their own careers, party platforms, and self-interest ahead of the country.The USA is on the brink of defaulting on its debt and “disrupting” the economy because our government is dysfunctional–and at least one one of our political parties is saying this is totally fine because it gives them negotiating “leverage.”
(The other party, meanwhile, has just shoved its fingers in its ears and its head in the sand and refuses to acknowledge the problem.)
The United States is facing a major economic crisis, one for which there is no quick or painless fix. The solution will require hard work, compromise, leadership, and a long-term plan. As the Greek and UK experiments demonstrate, simply slashing spending or jacking up taxes over the next couple of years won’t fix the problem–it will make it worse. The spending cuts and tax increases will have to be phased in over time.
The solution will also require a deeper grasp of the country’s financial problems than most of the American population seems to have. Polls continually show that most Americans want to cut the debt and deficit but that most Americans also don’t want to raise taxes or cut spending. Something’s wrong with that picture.
But instead of leading the country out of this mess–the job that we, at least, thought we sent our representatives to Washington to do–our government is focusing only on pandering to its constituents’ latest whims and on getting re-elected.
So that has led us to complain about the lack of leadership in Washington.
And that, in turn, has led some of our readers to say that the people we send to Washington aren’t supposed to “lead” us, they are supposed to “represent” us (even, apparently, if we collectively believe impossible or stupid things.)
So that brings us to the DEBATE OF THE DAY.
What is the mission of our elected representatives, folks?
Have we elected our representatives to lead the country in the way that they see fit–the way CEOs and managers lead companies? Or is it our representatives’ job to listen to us on a day to day basis and represent what we are thinking and feeling?
Weigh in below…
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