Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It canít be Groundhog Day forever

Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson laid out a blueprint for addressing the nation’s budget woes this week with the statement, “It is time for our country to put this ultra-partisanship aside and pull together, not apart.”

Bowles and Simpson were the co-chairs of a bipartisan commission on fiscal reform in 2011. Bowles was President Bill Clinton’s chief of staff and Simpson is a former senator from Wyoming. The commission didn’t accept their plan in 2011, but the two have continued to speak as a team to try to push federal budget reform and deficit reduction.

Their newest nagging of Congress comes as the clock is ticking down and the country is pitching headlong into what policy wonks call “sequestration,” which the rest of us would call mindless, automatic budget cuts that will go into effect unless Congress acts to stop them. Stopping them would require Congress to pass a real budget or delay the across-the-board “sequesters” that could leave public services reeling.

Watching Congress today is like watching the movie “Groundhog Day,” in which the main character awakes each day to find that it’s Groundhog Day—again and again. But the way Congress has delayed putting a new budget in place is giving new meaning to the Latin phrase “ad nauseam” and it’s not entertaining.

It’s got to stop. It can’t be Groundhog Day forever. The election was over in November, but too many members of Congress continue to repeat sclerotic campaign slogans as though they have real meaning and can produce real action.

The nation can’t function if Congress continues to trump up one crisis after another. The nation doesn’t need another debt ceiling crisis or fiscal cliff scare.

The gridlock is dispiriting to businesses that need stability after years of managing in uncertainty to have the confidence to invest and hire. A survey released by the National Federation of Independent Business last week found that more than four years after one of the nation’s biggest financial disasters, small-businesses owners are still pessimistic and turned in one of the lowest confidence levels in 40 years of the survey’s history.

Business owners are not pessimists by nature. They take measured risks in the marketplace and live with the consequences of their success or failure in making the cash register ring. They have to be optimists or they wouldn’t do it.

But putting optimism to work requires a stable playing field and a congressional fan club that roots for success instead of manufacturing obstacles because of some unfathomable and destructive political agenda that is keeping Main Street mired in Groundhog Day.

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 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.