Did you notice that empty space underneath the National Christmas Tree? That’s where we were looking for the only gift that matters, hope for the future. This is the present we wanted this Christmas, last Christmas, and the Christmas before. Washington stiffed us again.
American democracy is a wonderful thing when it works, but during times like these the biggest flaw in our political system is glaring and ugly. When our government falls on its face, there is not much that voters can do except wait for the next election.
If the headlines about Washington’s newest refusal to address the debt have put you in a mood to throw your holiday turkey through a window, stop. Cook that bird. Serve it to your family and friends as part of a horribly ironic celebration of the year’s bounty.
2011 brought us two landmarks. On top of our national credit downgrade we now have a debt load of over $15 trillion. Despite all evidence that the red ink continues to drag us down, members of Congress are getting cold feet over assurances they made last August.
The White House should fire the speechwriter who thinks it is clever to prostrate the U.S. on the international stage. We have acquired the ugly habit of broadcasting to the world that we have become a nation whose future depends on the grace of other countries, and the contributions of their entrepreneurs and students (see: Study in the States Disregards America’s Potential).
If everything goes as planned, by the time we sit down to our Thanksgiving turkey the super committee will have finished their heroic task, and come up with a proposal for unprecedented spending cuts. By the time we prepare Christmas dinner, Congress will already have come to an agreement on those massive cuts.
Instead of censuring itself for the late July debt ceiling performance, Congress took credit for averting the end of Western Civilization with the Budget Control Act, then fled the scene, leaving only the screech of tires, downgraded national credit, and plenty of angry taxpayers in its wake.