Friday, January 4, 2013

Faux crisis

Real needs are going unmet while we chase faux crises. The most recent fiscal crisis was resolved in the final hour of the first day of 2013; politicians and pundits are already gearing up for the next one. Lots of dust and noise, lots of posturing and scary talk, but the truth is that these are artificial games of chicken that suck all the air out of the political process that the country has to use to meet real needs.   

While the Senate was staying up late to craft legislation that constitutionally should have started in the House, and House Republicans were righteously marching in and out of conference rooms until the absolute deadline to do what everyone knew would eventually be done, the Congress failed to even consider an emergency relief funding bill needed to help the New York and New Jersey citizens still suffering the effects of super storm Sandy. There was simply no time left.

Governing ought not be a game. Needs are real. Poor families need help feeding their children. Fellow citizens who are victims of tornados or earthquakes or killer snowstorms or raging forest fires need help. Virtually everyone needs Social Security as the cornerstone for building a retirement plan. Mostly, we all need serious public servants who will work to help meet these real needs rather than invent another faux crisis.  

All these needs are real. Meeting them with resources that are always more limited than the needs is the balancing act that those elected to govern must perform. Governing requires study, reflections and negotiation. There is little time for faux crises.


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