- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It has been more than eight months since we elected a new House of Representatives. As most will recall, the new members of Congress were sent to Washington with a mandate to clean up the economy, the budget deficit, the federal debt, immigration and energy independence and to reverse Obamacare. So far, nothing of substance has happened.

Frankly, we shouldn’t be surprised - our government is stalled in hopeless gridlock, which we anticipated when the Republicans won back only the House, leaving the Democrats in control of the Senate and White House. To illustrate such gridlock, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. recently held a round of talks at the White House to give the illusion the Obama administration was reaching out to the Republicans to find a bipartisan solution for solving the debt-ceiling problem. When it became clear the Democrats were not budging on budget spending cuts, the Republicans understandably walked out.

Apparently all of the country’s problems have been politicized and will not be settled until after the 2012 elections.

Aug. 2 represents the one chance of breaking the gridlock. It’s when Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner says the United States will no longer be able to pay its bills in full. In order to raise the debt ceiling, Republicans want major spending cuts in the budget and the Democrats want tax increases. Now it’s a matter of who is going to blink first. If neither side budges, both will blame the other for the problem. This issue is so divisive I do not see any way of their overcoming it, be it Aug. 2 of 2011 or 2012. Our government is playing a game of chicken, and the taxpayers are helpless to do anything about it.

As the critical day comes and goes, the debt ceiling likely will not be raised and the members of our government will continue to argue and point fingers. Under this scenario, we will stop paying certain bills in full, and our national credit rating likely will drop. This, in turn, will have an adverse effect on the value of the U.S. dollar (which is already perilously weak), the stock markets, the gross domestic product, exports and unemployment.

Regardless, we will continue to be gridlocked until the November 2012 elections and possibly beyond if there is no change in the balance of power. This is why the 2012 elections are so important.

The approval ratings for Congress and the president are dropping to new lows. Watch them hit rock bottom after Aug. 2. Unless we can change the gridlock in Washington in November 2012, we will remain at war with ourselves.

TIM BRYCE

Palm Harbor, Fla.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide