Friday, April 8, 2011

"We the People" have Lost

As I wake this morning, I am saddened by the situation in our country.

There is a very real likelihood that we American will wake up tomorrow morning as the laughing stocks of the free world. A country without a budget and without a functioning government hobbled by a shut down. The New York Times article of this morning explains some of the consequences pretty well.

I am sure there are some who will likely be cheering-- but if you think the situation is bad now--a shut down will only exacerbate every bad thing that happens.

Congress has tasks specifically called out in the Constitution Article 1 Section 8 that they are responsible for accomplishing. A government shut down clearly indicates that they are not meeting their Constitutional requirements--one of the most important being to "provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States."

All is not lost--the Congress still has about 18 hours to avert insanity--but it is looking pretty bleak.

And who suffers most for the madness occurring in Washington, DC?

Every American.

Yeah--federal workers get hammered first and most noticeably by furloughs--but tomorrow's Cherry Blossom parade will be canceled, the Smithsonian Institution's gallerys will be closed, national parks also will be closed. And every American who is on Spring Break and spending money on vacation--will also feel the initial impacts of the madness.

But wait, there's more.

There is talk that the Air Traffic Controllers may not be able to work. And what about our favorite travel agency, TSA?

Our government is everywhere and an integral part of our lives in ways we do not even remember: meat inspectors, agricultural inspectors, customs, the IRS, Social Security, and the list goes on and on.

Then consider the loss of value for the dollar on world markets which, will drive the already too high price of oil up even higher sending gas prices at the pump well into the $4 per gallon range.

And prices for imports go up at exactly the same time that they cannot be inspected and brought into the country.

We, people, have lost.

Our representatives are acting irresponsibly--something we need to remember during election season.

Until then--it is going to be a bumpy ride.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Problem is, which side do you take it out on at election time? Just on all incumbents? I think it's a lot of the relative short-timers who are driving this.

I read the NY Times article too, but it struck me as somewhat alarmist. An extended shutdown would be a real problem, but my guess is that a relatively short one will probably have few significant long-term economic effects. It will be felt more acutely in the local economy here because of the density of federal workers and contractors. TSA and FAA will be at work for their essential functions (keeping planes in the air and passengers safe). The troops will be paid and paid on time if the President chooses to make that happen. If they aren't, then I think the President is guilty of some pretty tasteless horse-trading.

Either way, lets hope they get their act together by tonight and this all becomes academic.

My Zimbio
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