The Twenty Four Billion Dollar Fiasco!

Boehner John Republican Caucus Boehner’s Republican Caucus is a Hot Mess

 The Cost of Governing by Crisis

Although the nation narrowly averted a catastrophe last night when the Congress passed a bill to end the federal government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, thereby saving the nation from financial ruin, it was a very costly fiasco.  The credit rating agency Standard and Poors have calculated the cost of the government shutdown and near default; we lost 24 billion dollars out of the American economy and reduced economic growth by one percent!   This money could have been put to use refurbishing the US infrastructure, or providing research funds for President Obama’s alternative energy project, or much needed improvements to the nation’s schools, to name a few.

It is doubtful whether the Tea Party fanatics will be chastened by this boondoggle.  If the comments of Texas Senator Ted Cruse – a shameless, reckless, charlatan – is any indication these arrogant ignorant churls have learned nothing.  Hence we will be confronted with a similar Scenario shortly after the New Year begins, since this budgetary fix only extends to February.  A lot can happen to alter the picture by then, but the way it looks right now we are headed back into the same quagmire from which we barely escaped.

Despite the fact that President Obama confidently assured us this kind of crisis would not happen in the future at the conclusion of his press conference announcing the end of the present dust up with the Grand obstructionist Party, events may prove his assessment a bit too optimistic.  Trying to reason with these people is like attempting to negotiate with suicide bombers, because in their twisted minds there is no positive role for government to play beyond police functions and the maintaining the military.

It is a backward view of the role of government that can only impress anarchists and numb skulls. If we look at the anti-government fanatics in the GOP we find an abundance of impassioned but clueless ideologues, and among these are people who are convinced that life will be just fine without a well-functioning government. It is a puzzling phenomenon, especially if you have flown across this country from coast to coast as I just did twice.

From my window seat I marveled at the size and complexity of this great nation: the many miles of highways, the railroads, the great cities and suburbs, the forest and rivers, the towns high in the mountains, the enormous amounts energy required to fuel this massive economy, the millions of gas guzzling cars and trucks, the many farms required to feed this nation, the massive factories that dot the landscape, etc.  It takes a special species of fool not to recognize that such a vast continental nation needs a massive federal government to manage its affairs.

One needs only look at the chaos in the little agrarian nation of Somali in order to recognize the importance of a strong central government.  And I suggest that those Republicans who wish to live in a country with no government should emigrate there, just as Somalis who wish to live in a country with a strong government routinely immigrate here.  But the truth is that all these people love government when they benefit from it by getting funding for their pet projects.  None of them are willing to lead a fight to close a military base in their district, or to end farm subsidies if they are from an agricultural state.   and none dare mention reducing social security, veterans or Medicare benefits.

The best example of this hypocrisy is the “sweetener” in the bill just cobbled together by Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell.  Even as old Mitch was making an emotional speech against government spending he had attached a multi-billion dollar allocation for his state – an act of shameful duplicity.  Yet it serves to demonstrate the indispensable role of federal funding to the well-being of the states and exposes the folly of the anti-government rhetoric and actions of the political incompetents in Grand Obstructionist Party.

Joe Scarborough, host of MSNBC’s early show Morning Joe and the model of a “reasonable,” Republican, seemed genuinely shocked to learn that the bi-partisan bill hammered out by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that saved the nation from default, and the myriad calamities that would have spawned, contains a 2.5 billion dollar allocation for a river dam’s project in Kentucky.

The fact that this project is located in McConnell’s home state raises eyebrows among observers of Republican politics, and the hackles of Republican politicians who just shut down the federal government in a protest against government spending.  Already McConnell’s adversaries in the Tea Party are sharpening their axes in preparation for his beheading, and it serves the hypocritical rascal right!

A Scurrilous Scoundrel
Mitch McConnell

Caught with his hand in the Pork Barrel!

 
 Playthell G. Benjamin
Harlem, New York
October 17, 2013

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: