America’s Christmas present from the “spend-and-tax” Liberals and “spend-and-don’t-tax” Conservatives is a budget compromise that mirrors all others. Domestic and military spending will, of course, increase thanks to this $1.8 trillion political deal at a time when the Fed is raising borrowing costs and just over four years after the US had its credit rating slashed for its fiscal irresponsibility. Instead of just rewarding themselves and their campaign contributors with tax incentives as US politicians did in last year’s so-called “Omnibus Bill,” our Washington procrastinators used the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Act to offer $680 billion in tax relief for businesses and the poor as they readied themselves for their winter break.
Not only is fiscal responsibility a very important issue for the American People, this US spending bill offers lessons for the Peoples of the world on how government should not spend money. Where US legislators proudly flaunted their self-proclaimed accomplishment, it is nothing more than a political compromise that fails to actually accomplish its objectives, i.e. serve the governance needs of the American People. After years of drama, shutdown threats, tough rhetoric, and last-minute bargains, Congress has returned to offering the same overspending and tax cuts that helped engineer the exploding National Debt that will eventually force the United States into bankruptcy.
Where political leaders from Left to the Right are elected to represent the interests of their constituents at the grand bargaining table that Congress is supposed to be, the result of their combined effort should be a harmonious Budget that represents the interests of the Country as a whole. This means a sustainable Budget that addresses the needs and wants of all Americans. Unfortunately, the appropriations process, as well as the over legislative process, has become little more than a dogfight to promote one side of the political spectrum’s priorities. Quite frankly, not all Americans are radical Conservative or Liberal extremists, so there is no reason the reason the appropriations process should involve so much discord.
Although it has become fashionable to blame President Obama, it is the Constitutional responsibility of the US House of Representatives to write a US Budget that balances the interests of the American People and ensures the US government remains functional. As such, the responsibility for the Budget drama falls largely on the shoulders of US Legislators. It is the responsibility of the President to ensure Congress has crafted a spending plan that addresses the collective interests of Americans instead of special interest groups and partisan political agendas.
Clearly, the politicians of today continue to fail the American people when it comes to the Federal Budget as well as their other Constitutional duties. Should House Speaker Paul Ryan push for an “aggressive” and “conservative” agenda in 2016 that translates into a continuation of the same partisan dysfunction that has ruled Washington for years, the American People can only expect America’s fiscal problems to get worse.
Since the 1980’s, a war between Republicans and Democrats has been waged by setting America up for failure through overspending and increased tax cuts, as well as a slew of other self-destructive policy pursuits, intended to force the United States into a catastrophe that could only be solved by an extremist partisan agenda. Not only is this “hostage-taking” thoroughly undemocratic in nature, it has been repeatedly proven ineffective over the years as US leaders have found ways of kicking the can down the road in the wake of one crisis after another.
Clearly, a Country cannot be run this way. It certainly cannot remain a democracy in any sense. Over their break, Republicans and Democrats alike are going to hear a lot of things from their constituents, but they must recognize that their job is not to simply appease voters; it is to run a country in a balanced fashion. If by “aggressive” and “conservative,” Paul Ryan means he will tackle spending and taxes in fiscally responsible ways that ensure all Americans continue to enjoy their Constitutional-guarantee, democratic right to equal representation then 2016 could the year the US government starts solving problems instead of creating them.
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