Higgins: Sequestered, shut down and debt-limitedWritten by Tim Higgins | | email@example.com
I’ve come to feel little more than contempt recently for those in control of the nation’s purse strings, whether they work in the national legislature or the White House.
It can’t be any fun to be in charge of the nation’s checkbook, especially when there’s always a negative balance in the account. Coming up with the money to pay household bills is difficult enough for most of us, but attempting to keep up with the exorbitant spending that only a government can run up on a bipartisan basis has got to be a lot tougher. My bet is that those in Washington, D.C., probably thought it would be a lot easier if you could do it with other people’s money, but — with Washington’s current predilection for spending — discovered the hard way that it isn’t.
Not surprisingly, they’ve made a mess of things again this year. Like so many out there, I suspect there’s plenty of blame to go around and everyone in the logic-free zone deserves their share of it. Washington’s current “made to campaign” money problems, however, affect me personally no more or less than they did before this latest round of Financial Armageddon announcements.
I actually kind of like the current sequester, since it’s the only thing approaching spending cuts that I’ve see recently and I haven’t been given any extra unpaid days off because of it. The shutdown doesn’t bother me much either, since I haven’t I been sent home because of it (for days I will later be paid for). As for the impending doom of the debt limit, once you get past the zeroes on the first couple of trillion dollars or so, increasing the nation’s credit limit by another trillion or so leaves me indifferent to what has become just another number on a page no one pays attention to. (You know, like the $80 billion that the Federal Reserve pumps into the economy every month by buying up our current debt.)
Like many in the nation unfortunately, I’ve come to view the current situation as little more than a poorly written sitcom or, worse yet, a reality show. (I really hate reality shows.) Our current divided government, with Republicans in control of the House and Democrats in control of the Senate and the White House, seems an even worse one than usual with a plot (if any reality show can be said to have one) about a dysfunctional marriage between two constantly bickering political parties in a forced marriage, with the president playing the part of a disinterested marriage counselor who spends his time insulting the intelligence of both when not ignoring them and their antics completely.
In this case, the audience is likewise asked to overlook the virulent irresponsibly of both members of the hapless couple who have all but ignored their financial situation for the past 11 months and now must deal with it at the last minute (perhaps in a misguided effort in order to make the current episodes more exciting — an end at which they fail miserably). Not surprisingly, the scenes that follow in this episodic nightmare are filled with overheated rhetoric and bad strategy over money they don’t have by a revolving cast of poor actors that either refuse to pay attention to what’s written on the teleprompter or are determined to be fired from this current gig for the structural damage they’re doing to an improv company.
Both seem far more concerned with grabbing a spotlight they don’t deserve by repeating unscripted lines they neither believe, nor in most cases, comprehend. The entire cast seems far more interested, if they’re interested in anything, in attempts to achieve a memorable quote rather than a workable answer. If in the process, you can manage to throw your fellow actors under the bus as you claw your way up, bonus points for you. The best performances in this sad melodrama, however, are not enough to save the audience from boredom, let alone the proposed solution.
Perhaps it’s time that this tacky effort was canceled and all the actors were fired once and for all. The sad truth is that the only thing dropping as fast as the approval ratings of the actors is any remaining interest in the show. The nation has been sequestered for months, shut down for couple weeks and is now faces the imminently threat of being debt-limited within days. All but the actors have lost interest in the show and the audience has changed channels.