Tuesday is closing in – and the House is finally done with its symbolics and rants. A little group of people are insisting on blocking the whole constitutional process of working together in Congress to find a practical solution on things – even when things like a grand bargain was available that would’ve been a big step in the right direction for everyone.
So now we have a three day period of Senate business to figure out another deal that is doable, or some kind of limited postponement will probably be decided by the White House next week.
The downgrade of credit will probably happen within a few months anyways, adding to problems, but it’s really just a very lagging indicator of the general mismanagement of public finances for well over a decade.
Now, some reflections on the process:
- The House seems deeper divided than many expected. Some lie about taxes and the basics of economics – some truly believe in this stuff. And thus the fronts are hardened.
- The Speaker might be a better negotiator than the President – but his caucus might be mission impossible to manage. The short-term young freshmen don’t care about rank and establishment – they’re on a mission to “change” government through necessary obstruction.
- The responsible and non-extremist part of GOP has been a bit more forceful in their internal pushback of unyielding members among their own. The party is no longer one strong block of discipline and cohesion.
- The President has pulled out, but maybe it’s for the best, as he really just can’t do this part of the job. Better to get out of the way.
- Harry Reid showed some forceful moves the last days – well done. A very small and feeble force, but still – a clear improvement for the balance of the process.
So what to make of all this.
The economy will probably keep getting worse as debt grows and US companies choose to hire overseas. Even a $4tr package is not really enough to fix those kinds of problems. And with no new revenues and aging population – it just won’t work.
The country keeps declining with a non-functional government who no longer is able to act according to the peoples vote and wishes.
The political fallout is hard to predict. Short-term there will probably be more noise and even harder fronts, though likely shifted from between the parties to between extremists vs. the rest. Default and shutdown could be a permanent issue and media circus the next fifteen months.
Longer term who knows… But I sometimes think a strong moderate conservative movement AND a strong progressive movement is both needed to pull things back on track. And nothing will significantly change before business/money get less influence on congress and government. It’s not a democracy if someone holds a gun to the legislators heads and dictates their vote.