How did we get into this mess?? | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This article originally appeared in the Beaufort Observer.

    Hold on to your hats!! I am about to agree with something our glorious leader said. In talking about the National Debt and the Debt Limit, he laid the blame on the congress, those who control the purse strings. He was right (partly).

    You have to admit, he is really good at blaming others for things that don't seem to be going so well. He is equally adept at taking credit for things that are going well, even though his only contribution was making them more difficult to achieve. Case in point: the amount energy being produced in the US. It is up. In this case, he isn't making up a story. What he tells us is on point. What he forgot to mention (forgot?? - some hope) is that the increase is the result of exploration on private lands - not government lands - which he and his henchmen have pretty much placed "off limits".

    But, back to the debt and deficit. According to the Anointed One, had the Congress not appropriated money, there would have been no authority to spend it. ( Absent an Executive Order authorizing the expenditure of unappropriated funds - Hmmm... - it could not have been spent.) Had it not been spent, there would not have been deficit spending. With no deficit spending there would be no National Debt to argue about every year or so. That's it in a nut shell.. It's Congress' fault.

    Oh, one more thing he forgot. He forgot (again??) to tell us that a very large part of deficit spending and the increase in the National Debt happened during a time when his party was in complete control of both houses of Congress. With Nancy Pelosi ("We've got to pass this 2700 page bill to find out what's in it.") in charge of the house and Harry Reid (Let's change the rules so that the Anointed One can load the judiciary with Liberals.) in charge of the Senate the Prez. got pretty much everything he wanted in the way of funding. But still, it was the Congress that handed over the keys to the "Counting House".

    Laying the blame for our poor financial performance on the Congress certainly does sound a lot like what Thomas Sowell calls "plausible lies". And now that Congress has begun to reassert their authority, the amount of money being handed over is down, and guess what... The Anointed One is now taking credit for "reducing the deficit" (no mention of reducing the debt). Talk about chutzpa...

    However, Congressmen (and women), between their constituents, large contributors and all the lobbyists who hang around Washington (mostly the latter two), seem to have plenty of things they are convinced need to get done. Take funding extra (spare) engines for the F-35 fighter planes. Surely the need for these spare engines, which the DoD says they neither need nor want, has nothing to do with the fact that the Pratt & Whitney plant where they will be assembled is in Ohio.. As long as Congress refuses to bite the bullet on "pork barrel"spending, there is not likely to be any significant improvement in the situation.

    It seems as though the longer people continue to get reelected to the congress, the more power they amass. Senator Robert Byrd (RIP) was a really good case in point. He was a Senator for about 50 years. During that time he became known as "Big Muscle" which described (aptly) his ability to get money appropriated for those projects he supported. It is unlikely that you could travel to a single town in West Virginia where you would not find his name plastered on a building, bridge, stretch of highway or monument to his prowess in obtaining funding, To the best of my knowledge, he never changed bread and wine into the Eucharist but he was certainly consecrated for the way he "took care" of "his state. I believe he was (and still remains) the all time Pork Barrel champion.

    There is no shortage of others who, although they don't have the influence that Sen. Byrd possessed, are quite adept at horse trading. Harry Reid who has been in congress way too long

    is quite good at working both the system and horse trading. At least Senator Byrd was from a "poor" state. I'm not sure you could say that about Harry Reid's Nevada.

    A long time ago we had a Prez who was so sure that he knew better how to run the Government (and WWII) than anyone else possibly could ignored the two term precedent established by George Washington and ran and was elected for a third and even a fourth term. The argument was that we should not "change horses" in mid-stream (of WW II). As it turned out, we did change horses in mid-stream (when FDR died) and things seem to have turned out OK under Harry Truman. (Full disclosure: If my maternal Grandfather was still alive - he isn't - and Roosevelt was still running for President, he would still be getting my Grandfather's vote.)

    So what happened after "the war"?? We enacted the XXII Amendment to the Constitution, It limited our Presidents to two terms. (Let us hope that the Anointed One doesn't override that Amendment with an Executive Order.)

    We are left to wonder just why the Prez should be "term limited" but not the Congress. In the case of the Prez, there are likely some rather unpleasant scenarios that could be imagined absent the limit. In the case of the Congress, we wouldn't have to "imagine" anything. All we have to do is look around us at the mess that has resulted when being a Senator or Representative becomes a career.

    D'ya Think??
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