Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Digging Under the Cushions

The August 2 deadline has a little bit of give.  Apparently, Obama & Co. have found a hidden piggybank, rooted around in the lint trap in the dryer, and fished out a few extra pence from whatever dark and forgotten corners might hide in the American economy, and came out and said that we could keep going...for about an extra week.

I'm not as reassured by this as, perhaps, they hoped I would be.  Rather, I'd like to see that we had a budget already hammered out.

I blame the Tea Party.  Now, it's easy to say I blame Republicans, but I don't.  And it's just as easy for a Republican to blame a Democrat for our current state...though the numbers don't really stand in favor of the Republican's statement.  Ouch.

The Tea Party Republicans are highly ideological.  They have a calling and a mission, and seem to be more highly motivated to stick to their guns than previous generations of politicians.  And I'm never fully comfortable with the extremely ideological - they're less likely to admit they might be wrong, or worse, that you might be right.

The most important factor in all the debates is that neither side is entirely wrong.  It's also the most difficult aspect of the whole situation - you can't simply denounce the other guy's view, because then you're an ignorant dunderhead.

I've been of the opinion in the past that in situations like this, you should simply choose one guy's idea and everybody back it.  Everybody pursue it as if it were handed down from God on stone tablets.  With that kind of support, virtually any organizational idea is going to work, simply because there's no naysayers trying to make it stop working.  And unfortunately, US government is made up largely of naysayers.

I fear for us.  It's difficult under the best of conditions to get a simple small group of three people to agree on where to have lunch, getting a nation of 300 million to agree on this budget plan or that one is just monstrous.

Maybe we could just take a poll.  Everybody with a budget idea trot it out in plain English.  Get it described in 500 words or less, the equivalent of two pages of double-spaced type.  Then everybody in America phones in his preference, Door Number One, Two, or Three.  And whichever comes out on top, that's where we all go and everybody works toward it and no griping allowed.

I like that.  When I seize power - er - am elected King - er - President, I'm going to recommend that as a new governmental process.  That way nobody gets to complain about this politician or that one.  You voted for it, you get to brag that you're just as smart as half of the rest of the country.  If your choice doesn't win, maybe you didn't understand the question.  Call it government by crowd sourcing.

But until that happens, Get Off Your Ass, Congress.  Obama, I'm looking at you, too.  Find the middle ground.  Find it now.

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