Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The nationís house is on fire


We Americans are getting the government we voted for.

In the 2010 elections, just two years after the mortgage-driven crash on Wall Street, voters decided to end the Democrats' two-year majority in Congress and to put the U.S. House of Representatives back into the hands of Republicans who swore they would never raise taxes. With a Democratic president and a Senate hamstrung by its own filibuster rules, the election threw the nation into gridlock.

This week's failure of the so-called congressional "super committee" to come to agreement on a budget deal is just the latest manifestation of gridlock.

Its ripple effects are manifesting themselves nationwide. High unemployment, low job creation, a stagnant economy and creaky infrastructure are now the hallmarks of American society—and Congress has proven itself unable to do much to change them. The failure has left families, businesses and the government itself walking on thin economic ice.

We need to fix these problems. Why can't we? Unemployment, low wages and high costs are not exclusive to supporters of a particular party. They're problems that span all age groups and all affiliations. Teetering bridges, crumbling highways and lousy mass transit operations affect everyone, rich or poor.

We know how to fix the problems. The Great Depression taught us that public investment in public infrastructure benefits businesses and the public and puts people to work. It taught us that public investment spurs private investment, brings dividends to the federal government in the form of higher tax revenues and ends the downward spiral.

Why is it that the nation can't apply the lessons learned in the '30s and '40s? Why can't we agree to regulate banks and investment houses to keep them from running blindly off a cliff—and taking us with them? Have we forgotten our history?

The answer may be worse than merely a bad memory. As a nation, we may not recognize that the bad economy and political gridlock are a deadly combination.

The Occupy Wall Street movement may be a sign that the nation is finally waking up to this mortal economic threat.

If so, the next question is, will we act? Will we come together and insist that elected leaders lead by coming together to fix what ails us? Will we insist—at the polls next November—that elected leaders answer to voters instead of big business and calculating ideologues?

If we finally perceive the seriousness of the threat, perhaps we will.

The nation's house is on fire and ideologues can't put it out. We need cool-headed firefighters, good fire trucks and enough water to put the fire out.




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2020 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.