The federal government is open, the congress people now have clean towels in their gyms, veterans are not barred from federal memorial sites, President Obama and the Democrats won, the Republicans lost and the tea party properly chastised, the debt ceiling lifted, and the full faith and credit of America protected. Crisis put behind us. All federal employes get back pay, as promised, plus get to keep any unemployment filed for during the layoff. All’s right with the world. Or is it?
The debt ceiling lift is only temporary – we need another lift – the debt is well over 17 trillion, there is no plan to stop its growth, the government and factions within factions are still split, a budget has not been passed, and the process will all be repeated in a few months.
Oh, did I mention earmarks? Remember those little tags that congress people stick into bills to get goodies sent home to their constituents, ones that were supposed to be banned? They are back. Take that tea party. Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell got a couple billion for an Ohio River project, there’s a couple million more for some civil liberties project, and Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s widow got a $174,000 death payout that had been opposed. Lautenberg was a multi-millionaire or billionaire, but Congress, as a specially approved, off budget perk, passes out a years’ salary to the widow(er) of a member who dies in office. Congressman Bill Young’s widow undoubtedly, and fairly, will get the same. I suppose it is taxable. Or not.
However, we’re back in business. The government is running full tilt. Washington, D.C. and its environs are booming, but the rest of the national economy (minus oil and gas exploration areas) is still stagnant: growing slowly, but fewer people working than in decades even as the population grows. More food stamps, more Social Security disabilities.The Keystone pipeline between Canada and the U.S. needed to boost oil production and processing in both countries probably will not be approved. Business and other economic regulations continue to pour out of the bureaucracies.
The economic uncertainty (30 hour work week, anyone?) created by the confusing ObamaCare is compounded by the roll-out of the federal health exchanges. Over a half-billion dollars hasn’t created an efficiently operating enrollment system which also must be dove-tailed with nearly a dozen other federal agencies for verification whose computers may or may not be compatible. It doesn’t bode well for the near federalization of the health care system. We haven’t yet seen what’s in it because the original 2,700 pages are backed up by an estimated 13,000 more pages of regulations and definitions.
However, the federal government is back in business and ready to attack its top concerns: not jobs, not the deficit and debt, but immigration and farm subsidies. All’s right with the world. Declare it and it is.