There’s been a lot of fuss in Congress over the $100 billion in spending cuts that has now been whittled down to $60 billion and dropping. There is a real lack of political will in Washington to tackle all the problems we have because nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news to the American people.
Other places in the world have situations that are seemingly just as hopeless. Belgium is a perfect example. The country is half Dutch and half French and has somehow managed to hang together with two languages, two cultures and two work ethics. But Belgium looked set to come apart at the seams when its rivaling factions couldn’t form a working government.
In the midst of all this, the shocker is that the Belgians have been doing a better job than just about anybody else in Europe when it comes to curtailing deficit spending. It’s getting to the point where they’ll have a real government instead of one that operates on a wing and a prayer.
Then you look at California. Governor Jerry Brown is back in office and has proposed a $127 billion budget that is so clear in how it will address state deficit spending. No gimmicks and no games. That has made the business interests in the state stand up and cheer even though they’re hurting. Then you have the Democrats (who have really controlled the assembly) starting to say, “Hey, maybe Brown is right,” after fighting any control of government spending for a long time.
I bring all these examples up because too often it has seemed that Washington’s problems are insurmountable. They’re not. But it requires clear will and clarity to get the job done. By that I mean it requires an elected leader to provide leadership, not to worry about the popularity contest and how they’ll be treated at polls the next time.
So yes, we have a mess in many local governments around the country. Likewise, we also have a federal government that is irresponsible regardless of who’s in power. It’s time to grow up and get our books in order.