Tom Foreman | BIO
Reporter's Note: At the last possible moment, a budget deal was done to turn aside a government shutdown, so that’s what I’m writing about.
Dear Mr. President,
I know that voters should feel relieved and maybe even grateful that you, your fellow Dems, and the Repubs finally managed to work out a budget deal in the final minutes before a government shutdown.
I know the consequences if you had not managed the trick would have been bad, and the stage for future budget wrangling would be even worse, if that is possible.
And yet, I suspect a great many citizens feel more as if they have been held hostage and they were finally released after many days, and much anxiety. Did you hear any great cheers arising beyond the Beltway once the deal was announced? I’m guessing the answer is no.
To be honest, I was counting up the days that have passed since you introduced the budget in February of 2010, and it was just mind blowing. To think that one of the greatest governments the world has ever known could find itself so paralyzed, so unable to act on such a basic matter as a budget, defies belief.
For whatever opinions people may have of your health care reform legislation, or financial fixes, or whatever, I have a suspicion that if you’d told voters ahead of time that the budget itself would come down to such a crisis, some of them would have surely said “Then tend to that first.”
Anyway, congratulations, I guess, on finally getting down to a deal, but I don’t think you should expect a lot of glad-handing over it in your upcoming travels. Seriously, you proudly announced that the Washington Monument will be open? That’s like me expecting a trophy for just paying my bills. No one would give me one, and they would think me daft for expecting it.
Hope your Saturday is going well. Call if you can.
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