As reported in The Hill yesterday, Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, shared a dire warning on the prospects for the US economy if our elected officials fail to resolve the critical impasse on how to avoid the Fiscal Cliff. He also pointed out that the economy is already being negatively impacted because the uncertainty and prospect of going over the cliff is creating havoc in financial markets and impacting investment decisions.
With so much at stake it is beyond disheartening to watch the political posturing of the two extremes of political discourse. On the Socialist left you have, thou shall not cut entitlements to anyone – while on the Tea Party right you have, thou shalt not raise one penny of taxation.
Where do you go from there? That’s like being told to increase production while laying off workers. Yeah, I know that can and has actually be done, which is another topic for another day – but you get the point.
Our country is being held captive by minority extremists at both ends of the ideological political spectrum – neither minority willing to compromise because being correct in their beliefs is more important to them than being part of a plausible – if not entirely agreeable – solution to the challenges that come with governing.
I often wonder whether folks who relish in being identified as “part” of a political ideology discover through maturation which ideology aligns with their beliefs – or whether they form their beliefs to align with the ideology to which they seek to be identified as being part. When someone claims they are a bleeding heart liberal, I’d like to see how much they donate to charity each year. And when they claim to be a staunch conservative, I’d like to watch them discipline their kids. Talk is cheap and even more so when emboldened by social media.
My point is that I have had it up to my eyeballs with having minority interests capturing and distorting majority attention – and being an obstacle that is much larger than defined by their electoral power. Every person I have talked to over the past few weeks – Democrats and Republicans alike – is of a similar mind: both revenue increases (taxes) AND expense reductions (entitlements) are necessary. I believe the majority of Americans know and understand that. Do you?