Congress administered a beating to some of our most deeply held American ideals in 2012, finishing off the job it started in the summer of 2011 with the debt ceiling conflict. Inflamed by Washington infighting, lawmakers and the president discarded beliefs we have accepted as truisms for generations by choosing to chart their own futures instead of America’s.
Those charging the 112th Congress with being the most worthless in our history not only miss the point, they are flat-out wrong. We don’t give our congressional leaders enough credit for the effort they have expended maintaining the divisiveness and rabid, overweening self-interest that characterizes Congress under Barack Obama’s thumb. We should give our lawmakers the credit they are due.
What the hell happened? Is Santa Claus a turncoat, a closet Democrat? Americans were good this year. We paid our taxes. Those of us with jobs worked hard and we did our best, but there are no presents under our tree. Once again, Congress has screwed us at Christmas. In a flashback to last year, anger, threats, and pronouncements of doom rule our holiday season (see: Congress Pounds a Holly Stake Through Middle Class Hearts).
Remember the Republican Pledge to America, the conservative retort to the president’s failed American Promise (see: The Lie Behind the President’s American Promise)? The GOP contract talked about “unparalleled recklessness with taxpayer dollars,”¹ proclaiming:
The need for urgent action to repair our economy and reclaim our government for the people cannot be overstated.²
Now we are hearing about frameworks for decision making.
The world will not end on New Year’s Day. Apocalyptic predictions about fiscal cliff doomsday are coming from the same lawmakers who created the fiscal cliff to coerce themselves to do something, anything, to get government spending and deficits under control. Fortunately, Congress passed the Budget Control Act and we can rely on the usual bipartisan cooperation to figure out how to get rid of it (see: Halting the Sequester Will Be a Historic Betrayal).