A Half-Slice Compromise

In many ways not unexpected, I awoke this morning to the news that Republicans and Democrats came to a last minute agreement to avoid the impending government shutdown (Click here for information concerning the agreement). For the numerous military and government employed families, they can breathe a little easier knowing that they will not have to face bills and creditors empty handed. And this is undoubtedly a good thing. But what about the average tax payer? Is this morning news welcomed? I’m not sure it should be.

Compromise in expected. Sometimes you take part of the loaf hoping you can come back for the rest of the loaf later. But do you compromise for only half a slice of bread? The road to fiscal responsibility will be marked with compromise. The recovery of the 80’s was marked with compromise. And in many ways, our political system requires compromise. But the compromises should reflect the situation we find ourselves in. As trillions of dollars of debt continue to mount, should we be content with $39 billion in cuts over six months? If we are to compromise, let it be the halfway point between no cuts and a balanced budget.

Some Congressmen have it harder than others. For those in heavily military districts or with high government employment, a shutdown would have involved not paying families and individuals very likely living from paycheck to paycheck. No one wants to vote for that. But we must be able to look someone squarely in the eyes and say, “I did not vote against you, I voted for your children and grandchildren.” A few Republicans did just that. And for me they stand out as beacons in Washington worth our support and hard work.

Unlike military and government employees, our children and grandchildren, not to mentioned the private sector employee, will get no government reprieve from excessive spending. As federal government regulations and spending continues to sink the economy, private employees either find themselves with smaller paychecks, or none at all.

The House Republicans have one more shot to get this right before the 2012 elections. For now,
the “crisis” has been adverted while the real crisis looms ominously. And once again, the American taxpayer has footed the bill.

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