If you want to know how badly Washington is failing, consider that amid a weak and worsening economy and persistently high unemployment, elected officials intentionally created a circumstance that risks a $250 billion income-tax increase for next year and the layoffs of millions of defense workers.
We got here because lawmakers were unable to act on taxes or spending when they could, so these same folks opted to raise the stakes figuring that the consequences of inaction just weren’t high enough before. Once the health of the American economy and the fiscal future of the nation were hanging in the balance, surely they would have to come to some sort of arrangement.
Unable to address their own differences, President Obama and members of a divided Congress, decided to tie the American citizenry to the railroad tracks assuming neither side would really let the tragedy happen. It’s a game of chicken that only politicians could devise. They have nothing at stake but their political careers, while the people they purportedly serve are put in peril.