Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: More people are pointing fingers in Congress and the White House right now than when a UFO flies over a farm field. It’s the subject of my daily letter.
Dear Mr. President,
Sorry this letter is coming to you so late in the day, but you’ll understand why when I tell you what I’ve been up to. I spent most of this afternoon trying to make sense of the budget battles going on in DC right now, and to be honest, it makes Medusa’s head look like a tidy updo.
And you wonder why the public gets irritated with you guys.
Let me see if I have this right: No one in DC wanted to pass a budget last summer or fall for the coming year. Even though your party was still in charge of pretty much everything, your Democrats didn’t push to get it done. And with a midterm election roiling the political landscape, the Republicans didn’t squawk too terribly much about it either. To put it in simple terms, everyone was afraid of the potentially unpredictable political fallout, so that pop fly landed amidst all the congressional Little Leaguers without anyone so much as sticking out a glove.
Then you all kicked it down the road for a few months, passing resolutions to just keep the government running on the funding levels from last year. And now you are up against it. Almost everyone knows there must be some kind of cuts because the economy has been such a wreck, but no one can agree on what to cut or by how much. The accusations are flying, the offers and counter offers are bouncing off of each other, and, Bob’s-your-uncle, we have a mess.
I’m sure that you and the rest of the Capitol Hill crowd will somehow hash out a sloppy, absurdly contorted version of something that you will eventually call a budget. Each side will proclaim victory and say the other side is sharing bunk space with the devil. You’ll all pass around brandy and cigars (because they go so nicely with blame) and the whole ridiculous process will roll on with the 2012 budget - which, as you may note, is already on the agenda.
I know reaching agreements on such matters is tough. I know that both sides love to profess their concern about the public while playing a game of chicken with a government shutdown. But jeesh…you’d think after all these years, we’d have a better system than this.
Want to change something? This would be a good place to start.
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