Monday, February 25, 2013

Who gave these people the keys to the country?


I have a good friend who advised me some time ago that if you don’t know what to do, don’t do anything. Eventually what you’re supposed to do will show itself to you. I’ve tried to follow this strategy and it’s actually worked pretty well for me.

But my life is pretty simple. And my problems are equally simple. So me doing nothing usually has little downside. It’s not like the fate of the country is in my hands.

Unfortunately, it would seem that the people that are running the country have gotten the same advice. If they don’t know what to do, they do nothing.

It’s considerably more problematic than my doing nothing.

Case in point: Any number of government shutdowns and budget battles. The government has taken doing nothing to a whole new level. Their practice of procrastination could win Olympic medals.

We jumped over the fiscal cliff and now we’re being sequestered, apparently.

I’ve only been familiar with the term “sequester” as part of court cases until just recently. It usually means to keep a jury holed up in a hotel until they reach a verdict. Maybe that’s what we should do with Congress — lock them up in a room until they come up with a solution to current budget crisis.

The current budget crisis, for those who haven’t been paying attention, is a series of wide-ranging across-the-board budget cuts designed to be unpalatable to both parties. They focus on defense spending and domestic spending.

As is usual, the GOP is fine with the domestic spending cuts but wants the military cuts restored. And the Democrats want the domestic spending restored but isn’t as concerned about the military cuts. Democrats have suggested tax increases to offset the impending cuts. Republicans say no new taxes.

All this happens Friday unless someone does something to fix it. But all signs point to Congress following my friend’s advice of just doing nothing. Which, again, is fine for me. But not so fine for those with the keys to the country.

Of course, we’re the one’s who put them there.

See, you’d think that when choosing people to represent us in Washington, we’d pick the smartest people with the best ideas. But you’d be wrong. First of all, those who vote like to go with people who think like them as opposed to people who just think. Second, those who vote are frequently outnumbered by those who didn’t know what to do so they didn’t do anything.

Long story short: Pogo was right. We are our own worst enemies.

So as Friday draws near and nothing of any consequence is done in Washington, remember that we could have elected smarter people. But we chose not to.

Maybe we should all be sequestered before the next election.

Scott Leffler frequently does nothing. It’s for the best. But when he does anything mildly important, he tweets about it @scottleffler.
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