Sunday, July 31, 2011

My cynicism keeps me sane

So what happens when the irresistible force meets the immovable object?  In the case of the nation’s capital you end up with leviathan like legislation or watered down solutions.  In the case of the former we have Sarbanes-Oxley, the Affordable Healthcare Act, and the Dodd-Frank Banking Regulation laws that are so complex they lose effectiveness.  In the case of the latter you end up the American Reinvestment Act or what appears to be the coming debt ceiling/deficit reduction bill that end up being so watered down they are not effective; which brings me to the latest efforts to avoid default, higher interest rates, loss of AAA rating, and loss of faith in the U.S. Government. 
We have the required “vote” to implement a balanced budget amendment.  This piece of the deal is an appeasement to the Tea Party that in the end will end up like 99.99% of all New Years’ resolutions: never going to be implemented.  Never mind the fact that to get the Constitution changed requires a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each. Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states where it must be approved by tree fourths of the states.  This is the route taken by all current amendments.  A second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken. 
What else do we have?  The establishment of a bipartisan commission that will be appointed to identify further cost reduction targets in both discretionary and mandated spending; perfect, another commission.   Apparently Congress thinks its commission will come to a different conclusion than the President’s Bowles-Simpson commission.  No word on whether the Judiciary will be establishing its own commission.
Where are tax reforms and revenue increase methods?  Go ask Alice, because you won’t find them here.  The absence of addressing the revenue side shows how incompetent Congress is an addressing any big issue, though they do seem capable of naming US Post Offices.  I imagine the negotiations went something like this:
Democrat: You’re not getting a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Republican: You’re not getting any new revenues
Democrat: How about I give you the ‘vote’ on a Balanced Budget Amendment?
Republican: How about I take that and we add tax reform as a discussion point for our new commission?
Democrat:  OK.  Boy caving gets easier all the time.
Republican: Don’t fret, we both know the cuts that are on the table are ‘theoretical’ and won’t amount to real savings.
Democrat: True, but it looks we did some good work here and this will make me look good with my constituents. Want get a drink?
Republican: Now that is something we both agree on.
Both now laugh and walk away.

Meanwhile the debt continues to increase because we continue to run excessive deficits and now nation crumbles from no new investment.  Cut, Cap, and Balance was a joke.  I propose: Reform, Invest, Cut, Tax.  Invest and reform now.  Cut and tax when we start having real growth.  More on that later. 
Happy Birthday Cindy, Moshe, and Fegie,

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