By Erin Drushel
Alright, alright… I give up! Let’s talk about – cue ominous music – the ‘sequester.’
It’s just about the only thing they’re talking about in Washington right now. Reason being, come March 1st some $85 billion in across-the-board cuts will be triggered if the GOP and Dems can’t reach an agreement on budget cuts and tax increases.
The sequester was first established back in 2011 as a means of – for lack of a better word – cattle-prodding American legislators into taking action on deficit reduction. The sequester was the looming threat of if you don’t do something, something worse will happen. That “something worse” is just around the corner and includes some deep domestic and military cuts that have the potential to trigger massive lay-offs and spin the already-hurting American economy backwards, away from recovery.
So what’s the problem? As I see it, the major problem is a lack of grown-ups in the room.
How many times must we have this argument? First off, Republicans, you lost the election; deal with it. And by “deal with it” I don’t mean take your ball and go home. Secondly, Democrats, yes you won, but that doesn’t mean you get to do nothing and still blame “the other guy” for nothing happening.
I think President Obama is a grown-up. That’s not to say he doesn’t play the game, too. But when you’re struggling against both the right and the left as he does on many issues, it just goes to show that he’s walking the line of compromise. Inaction is not an option and he knows it.
The looming threat of sequestration and the ensuing partisan games serve to magnify just how broken the system is where rhetoric becomes more important than national stability. The sequester wasn’t supposed to be about who can hold their breath the longest. It was supposed to be a tool to motivate law-makers into doing – wait for it – their job!
This really shouldn’t be this hard. But, sadly, when politics and egos get in the way, common sense and compromise tend to fly right out the window.
In the meantime, we wait. Will this be another case of an eleventh-hour rescue… that only lasts about 2 months so that we will have the joy of going through it all over again? Or, will we definitely fall off the cliff this time?
It’s the ultimate reality show… perhaps with a bit too much reality…
– Erin Drushel