The latest headlines out of Washington have sounded more like they have to do with a WWE Smackdown than a session of Congress. So, I guess it should come as no surprise that we had to have a little sit-down chat with both President Obama and John Boehner during primetime TV last night. Because we're bombarded by so much misinformation 24/7/365, both of 'em had to break the debt ceiling "crisis" down for us. Today, plenty of pundits are chalking the speeches up to a play from both sides to score political points. But I didn't see it that way.
I saw our beleaguered leader, remaining level-headed as he tried to explain the unnecessary challenges he's faced attempting to get something done that, until now, has been treated as basic housekeeping.
Then, I watched as House Speaker Boehner -- whose response, which was delivered from behind a presidential podium with mics, spoke non-verbal volumes about the level of power he thinks he has -- make it like he's the beleaguered one. Give. Me. A. Break.
If some Americans could calm their ADD for a moment and think back a mere three years, they might be able to better understand how we got to where we are now. This economic crisis cannot be attributed to our current President. It's a mess made and left behind by his predecessors, mostly one George W. Bush. We had a budget surplus in 2000. Then, Bush and Congress spent trillions on new tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, fought two wars, and set up an expensive prescription drug program. The deficit was set up to top $1 trillion the year Obama took office.
And ever since that year, the Republicans have said "no" at every turn and attempted to block Obama from getting anything done. And when he has gotten things done (take healthcare reform), they've wasted time and energy attempting to overturn it. And what's really dumbfounding is that suddenly, after wracking up that "credit card bill" over the past eight years, they think they can just become the fiscal conservatives again overnight. Ha, it's almost a joke. This entire battle in Washington is a joke. It's not as complicated as Boehner would have us believe. Everything Obama wants to do -- "reduce the deficit by around $4 trillion and put us on a path to pay down our debt" -- is reasonable, balanced, fair, and makes sense. It's almost laughable that there's even a debate about this.
But it's not funny. Because if stubborn politicians who are simply jockeying for political points by refusing to spend anything on America's future or to ask the wealthiest Americans or biggest corporations to contribute a dime continue to throw crybaby hissy fits and block the President's down-to-earth deals at every turn, it will only be a matter of time before our country goes from stuck to sunk.
What did you think about President Obama's and John Boehner's speeches last night?
Image via WhiteHouse.gov