In less than three weeks Congress gets its wake up call. Campaigns will be over. For better or worse, voters will have made their decision. We will be two months away from taking a nosedive over Washington’s painstakingly constructed fiscal cliff.
Washington wastes a lot more than money. The most dangerous and damaging government waste comes not from squandering tax dollars, but from partisan politics denying the country opportunities to make things better. Will the end of America be brought about by partisanship maintaining our downward spiral, until we reach the point of no return?
Instead of summoning the guilty from the General Services Administration for a round of Capitol Hill pomp, posturing, and threats, members of Congress should be on their knees thanking the GSA for giving them something inconsequential to be outraged about. Gross abuses of our money like tens of billions in improper payments reflect badly on lawmakers during tax season, especially Democrats in the habit of holding out their hands whenever they get the urge to spend (see: Panhandling Democrats Had Revenue and Taxes for Extensions).
Responsibility is hard to shrug off in a democracy. Voters sleep better by telling themselves that their candidates were no good, that they were choosing the lesser of two evils, or that they were lied to. Even when all three are true, Americans still have to live with their choices, including the choice we made in 2008.
When we started 2012 by raising the debt ceiling there was a lot less noise from Capitol Hill than we heard last summer when legislators predicted catastrophe caused by their own reckless spending. Last August Congress pacified taxpayers by pawning off its responsibilities on a sure to fail Super Committee and a doomsday automatic spending cut scheme.
The word out of Washington is that spending cuts are the answer to our country’s ills. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor believes that spending cuts will open the door to job growth:
Today’s action by the Senate to overwhelmingly approve House Republicans’ Continuing Resolution is a welcome sign that Washington is beginning to move in the right direction to cut spending and get our fiscal house in order so that people can get back to work.