I feel really stupid. Stooo-pid. Like most of us, I’ve been watching, listening to and reading stuff about the current budget dispute. I’m puzzled.
The basics of the problem seem simple. The Fedgov is spending ‘way more than it takes in, thus the need to borrow. OK, get that. Now the old credit card is maxed out. Check. What to do?
While the family-budget-around-the-kitchen-table analogy probably doesn’t truly work for a nation, THE NATION, the world’s biggest economy, some basic fundamentals still have to apply, great big macro economy or teeny-tiny family economy. Like: you can’t eternally spend more than you ‘make’. And: you sure as heck can’t spend your way to wealth & prosperity. Makes sense so far.
And now our Esteemed Leader, in his rambling, teacherly way, seems to be saying that we have to cut a few expenses, but boost our income (taxes) so we can borrow more and spend lots more. OK, now you lost me. (Contessa’s asking the wrong dude ‘do you have a degree in economics?’. She needs to ask Jug-Ears.)
The adults in the room have done their job. They produced a budget. They produced a plan to balance the budget, reform taxes and cut spending. They put them in the form of bills, ran them through the appropriate processes, voted on them, and passed them both. They’ve gone over to the other legislative house, the Senate, where they sit.
Although I had to pass Constitution tests here in Illinois to graduate grade school and high school and college, my basic recollection of how this stuff works is from, you guessed it, School House Rock, when my kids watched it.
Why ‘negotiate’ with the President, who is a separate branch, not part of the ‘deal making’? There are only 3 things to know about him: he’s not too bright, he likes to lie, a lot, and he wants re-elected. But his part of the legislative process comes later, signing or vetoing what Congress sends him. Threats ain’t vetoes.
All today’s screaming and hair-tearing seems overblown. The House, where all spending bills have to originate, has passed their bills. On everything else, the Senate either votes it up or down, or makes changes and sends it back to the House; then they huddle in a conference committee to work out their differences. Why the heck is this so earth-shakingly different?
I guess the Dems are lucky I’m not Speaker. Because I’d tell the Senate, look boys & girls, we’ve done our job, the ball’s in your court. Here’s my number, me and my peeps are headed home, give me a buzz when you’re ready to conference. Bye now.
But, but we’re up against the apocalyptic August 2 credit card date!
Uh, really not my problem. This isn’t like airliners hitting skyscrapers. You’ve known this was looming forever. Deal with it, and call me when you want to act on what we’ve sent you. Bye now.
Either School House Rock was a total fabrication, or I was right in the first place. I’m just too stupid to understand all this.