COMMENTARY | So the 112th Congress reached a deal on the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Yippee. I guess cookies are in order.
In a façade of entirely self-created drama, the Senate, and then the House, entered a last-minute New Year’s Eve/Day deal. Thus they rescued us all.
From their own mess.
There was no need for extra sessions and negotiations during the holidays. We were going to end up where we are now anyway, and all House Republicans managed to do is further waste the government resources they claim are so very precious.
I’m not grateful that Congress reached a deal. I’m angry that members seem utterly unwilling or incapable of doing their jobs, and when they finally do, under great pressure, they do it so gracelessly.
Just look at Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, who told Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., to “Go” expletive “himself.” That’s exactly the cooperative, can-do attitude you like to see in an elected official speaking to another elected official on our nation’s dime.
And the worst aspect of all of this posturing and positioning and hemming and hawing when you know where you’re going to end up is that they get to do it again with the debt ceiling and cuts in government spending. Meaning we’ll have yet more of the refusal to do anything until the very last minute, more histrionics and more rhetoric about how basic safety net programs destroy the spirit of the nation, but without corporate welfare, we’ll see homeless corporations out on the streets starving, without a creation of a job in sight.
It’s infuriating when people demand to be applauded for doing the bare minimum of the requirements of their jobs. Here, not only do we have that, we have members of Congress who want extra thanks for partially detangling the endless knot of wires they ran willy-nilly in the first place.
Just like we never needed to have a “fiscal cliff,” we don’t need a debt ceiling crisis or a spending cuts crisis. All we need is elected officials who are actually willing to do what we elected them to do, and what we pay them to do: act in our best interests.
It is not in our best interests that months and months of negotiation room is wasted for the sake of a dramatic end-of-time rescue. It is not in our best interest that the real work of our country is set aside for less pressing matters or no matters at all.
After its inevitable snippet of work on the cliff deal, the House adjourned itself without taking action on aid for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, leaving the people affected by that horrific storm without the proposed aid. Instead, it passed that $60 million to the next Congress, which convenes Thursday. That Congress, as reported by NBC, has to start from scratch with the bill.
It is completely without sadness, then, that we can bid a tepid farewell to the 112th Congress, perhaps the least effective Congress ever. And here’s hoping that the 113th Congress isn’t a big believer in dramatic pauses, congratulating themselves on tying their own shoes or playing kick the can.