Congress Plays Kick the Can

October 17, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

box-2-967632-mWas that so hard? Finally, the shutdown is over. Until…

As a big sports fan, I often enjoy listening to sports radio. Soon after the shutdown began, I turned on the Tony Kornheiser radio show to find that he was not talking about sports, but was interviewing Howard Fineman, editorial director of the Huffington Post. Looking back on it, it was almost as if Fineman had a crystal ball. When Kornheiser asked when he thought the shutdown might end, Fineman said that with the debt ceiling deadline coming Oct. 17, the country simply cannot default on its loans. He said Congress will likely come up with “an 11th hour settlement to end the shutdown and raise the debt ceiling and essentially ‘kick the can’ a few months.” He was spot on.

Consider the can kicked.

Perhaps this was the intention of many in Congress all along. We’ll just wait until the 16th before we‘ll take any REAL action, they agreed to themselves. So the monuments and the National Zoo’s Panda Cam will be closed a few days, so what?

I’m sorry, but this is such faulty logic. If this was what the anticipated result was going to be in the first place, couldn’t we have arrived at this decision three weeks ago, before the shutdown, so that the nation’s business and people’s lives weren’t disrupted?

Yet, for all the congratulatory handshakes we see now, we’ll just face this same issue in January and February when next deadlines approach. Will we stare at the can again and shut things down again, will we kick it down the road a little further, or will Congress approach this sensibly and determine the best approach for dealing with it? Who knows? All I know is the can is getting pretty beat up.

What is your view on the shutdown settlement? Let us know what you think.




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