Monday, October 14, 2013
TITLE "BAD GOVERNMENT FOR ALL" Today is the "observed" National Holiday honoring Christopher Columbus. We learned as school kids that he "discovered America in 1492." Today is also Day Fourteen of the "Partial" Government Shutdown of 2013. Federal Offices are closed, and there is no mail delivery. But many Federal offices have been closed for two weeks, and the news media have been full of the consequences to many of us when the U.S. Government failed to function on October 1st. Reports from Washington now tell us that Republicans in Congress no longer insist that the Affordable Care Act be repealed or defunded as their cost of reopening the government. Now they have linked the Debt Ceiling to the Shutdown, so that they could cause a global economic collapse. It was Senator John McCain who called one of his party's freshman colleagues a "Wacko Bird" a few weeks ago. We hear that about forty hard-core members of the Tea Party Caucus now have effective control of Congressional Republicans. These radicals demand concessions in government spending beyond the extreme sequestering cutbacks - without any added revenues - before they will allow government to reopen or raise the debt ceiling so the Treasury can pay our obligations. Bond interest, social security payments, federal salaries, medicare payments, and on and on. For thirty years now the USA has drifted into a condition of severe income inequality. The wealthiest among us have captured most of the benefits of the recovery from the Great Recession. Much of the Middle Class is doing worse or no better that they did forty years ago. This Country is surely in decline. Today we have both Inequality and Bad Government for us all. With the messed-up districting across the United States, we cannot pull out of this nose dive with anything less that a political upheaval. The World is watching to see if our Democracy can function. One wants to hope, but it doesn't look good on this National Holiday.