Our Government is Just Taking Us from One Crisis to the Next
A deal has been reached to avert default and end the government shutdown, but where does this deal leave the U.S.? Our government is leading us to the brink of disaster, and the deal reached leaves open the very real possibility of another standoff in only a few short months. The U.S. will never thrive with a government that governs from crisis to crisis.
A deal was agreed upon by Senate leadership after the Republican controlled House of Representatives repeatedly failed to come up with a palatable bill that could end the standoff. Under the deal, the debt limit will be raised through February 7, averting default, and the government funded through January 15, ending a shutdown that furloughed over 800,000 federal employees and shut down facilities across the country.
Republicans came into the debate with big demands, but ultimately got very little out of the deal. Their biggest gain was that democrats agreed to keep spending at levels agreed to in 2011, leaving the details of how to distribute that spending open to debate in the future. Democrats also agreed to income verification for government subsidies under Obamacare. This is a far cry from the total defunding or delay of Obamacare that Tea Party Republicans had been seeking. Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator who led the charge to defund Obamacare said his colleagues in the senate had “failed the American people”.
Americans disagree about whether Cruz’s statement is true or not, but Congress has certainly failed the American people in its ability to govern. The uncertainty created by these frequent battles have hurt economic confidence, and caused other countries to question whether the dollar should still be the world’s reserve currency. Up until recently it seemed as if the U.S. economy could not fail, but through poor leadership we have seen our status decline. Now our creditors cannot even be sure we will pay our bills, and the so-called solutions our lawmakers come up with only kick the can down the road.
It is a good thing the government is reopening and an even better thing that the U.S. will not default on its debt. But despite those facts it is uncertain where our country will be left in a few months. Will the government shut down again in January when funding runs out? Will we default in February when the debt ceiling comes up for debate again? What crisis will our inept leaders manufacture next?