Last month's ignominious failure of the deficit reduction committee to put forward even a basic outline for fiscal austerity leaves America shaking its head in shame, and what amazed me was the seeming lack of shame the committee members exhibited.
It's as if they want the United States to go down the same road as Greece and Italy, needing bailouts from the International Monetary Fund in order to avoid bankruptcy before Christmas. Further, their apathy appears to have been unshaken by the $1.2 trillion-cut provision should they not have agreed to a deal equaling at least that amount.
Maybe they came together and said, "Well, hey, we either find $1.2 trillion to cut or it gets cut anyway. Let's let someone else figure it out." There are still 13 months to go before the provision takes effect, but I am doubtful that anything will get done in the meantime; they just don't have it in them.
Put simply, the supercommittee's public statement was pathetic — almost as pathetic as its inability to produce a plan. It read like an Academy Award acceptance speech. "We'd like to thank all of those who made this moment possible." Well, it wasn't quite that bad, but who thanks staff and the American people when nothing was accomplished?
We know it was tough, difficult, challenging, daunting — whatever word you choose to use — but that doesn't soften the fact that the markets fell precipitously.
Although the world is focused on the debt crises in the EU, it still has a watchful eye on the U.S., the world's creditors are scratching their collective heads and investors are still reluctant to make positive moves. This mess is looking more like the perfect storm, yet the members of Congress continue to mill around and say, "Well, we tried."
That's not good enough. At this point, it is like what Master Yoda says to a young Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars," "Either do, or do not. There is no try." Get it done, Congress. That's what we elected you for.
Pundits will be busying themselves predicting the political fallout of the supercommittee, but there's no question that the biggest losers are the incumbents — all of them. Democrat, Republican, (independent?) doesn't matter. Every last one of them has lost the respect of the American people. The shock waves from this debacle will roll out slowly and, with each day that passes, public approval ratings of Congress will plummet more, giving incumbents a whole lot of explaining to do. This month will be even tougher as major pieces of legislation demand attention before the clock runs out, and boy, is it ticking away.
This Congress is a lost cause. There is really no other way to say it. Even when faced with the intense pressure of producing something, anything, its members do not. It's as if they are so deeply mired in apathy that they can't get their eyes above the fray to see how they're affecting this great nation of ours.
It's time to recall the entire Congress. I'm not sure if that's even possible, but it certainly reflects the attitude of Americans nationwide. They're fed up, and justifiably so. Why not send home all of the men and women in Congress? And I don't mean wait for an election and vote them out. I mean send them home now.
In all seriousness, why not recall Congress? Can we really do any worse than we have with the current lot? I highly doubt it, especially when considering that the current state of affairs in the United States has more Americans wanting to get active and have their voices heard than any other time since the 1970s. That's saying something, and Washington should listen.
• Armstrong Williams, author of the 2010 book "Reawakening Virtues," is on Sirius Power 128, 7-8 p.m. and 4-5 a.m. Mondays through Fridays. Become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arightside, and follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/arightside. Read his content on RightSideWire.com.
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