Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Great Editorial . . . BUT . . .

by Kyle Michaelis
The ability to recognize a problem is an important skill. Sadly, simple recognition of a problem does not indicate true understanding of it. It similarly fails to guarantee that one has any real solutions to offer.

Such is the case in the Lincoln Journal-Star's Tuesday editorial scolding the Republican Party for their fiscal recklessness and their pathetic attempts to avoid being held responsible for their incompetent management of the federal government.

After running through some very scary statistics that could threaten our entire way of life, the Journal-Star writes:
Republicans in Congress continue to act as though the nation’s financial problems are someone else’s fault. Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist said, “Bureaucrats in Washington (will have) to tighten their belts,” the Washington Post reported.

Aw, man. How long can get they away with that old trick? The Republicans have been in charge of both houses of Congress and the presidency for the past five years....

It’s time Americans started heeding those warnings. After all those years of promised fiscal restraint, the Republicans in charge in Washington have proven only that they can’t live within their credit limit. Their promises are as empty as the nation’s treasury.

A great point forcefully stated - I wish I could thank the Journal-Star for saying precisely what the people of Nebraska need to hear. But, the simple fact of the matter is that this wrist-slapping just does not go far enough.

Now, that isn't a call for exaggeration or hyperbole. None is needed when the facts, by themselves, are so dire.

Nor am I asking that the Journal-Star engage in name-calling or even that they be more vicious in attacking the Republican Party for its never-ending cycle of lies covering-up incompetence born of deceit (though such attack would be justified).

No, where the Journal-Star goes wrong - as it often goes wrong - is by speaking too broadly and in too general of terms. Chiefly, it fails to make this issue relevant to readers because the newspaper refuses to speak-out on the local level. For whatever reason - fear of offending, strategic editorializing, plain old negligence - the Journal-Star refuses to perform its most essential purpose, holding Nebraska's elected representatives accountable.

Nebraska has three Republican Congressmen: Jeff Fortenberry, Lee Terry, and Tom Osborne - the Timid Trio I call them for the near-constant and nearly universal lack of spine that prevents them from standing up and voting against the foolish excesses of the Republican agenda.

These are the men whose records Nebraskans must actually judge. These are the men whose failures have helped set this nation on course for catastrophe. These are the men who, each day, enable and encourage the Republican Party's unforgiveable irresponsibility in the name of maintaining political domination.

Yet, as is almost always the case when the Nebraska press dares to utter a negative word about the Republican Party, the names of those elected officials who deserve to share in their party's scolding are nowhere to be seen. They are let off the hook, as the newspaper refuses to remind readers that not only should they recognize the problems facing this country, they should actually do something about them.

Voting the bastards out would be a good place to start.

But, alas, the Timid Trio are sheltered from their failures - sheltered by an even more timid press. All the while, voters suffer for the silencing of the obvious and obscuring of the relevant.

How sad. Until the press is willing to do its job and actually take our politicians to task - until the people receive a wake-up call that actually reminds them that they deserve better and can have better - the reign of the Timid Trio...and all those just like them...will never end.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, the numbers I see from the Treasury Dept. show that tax receipts are actually UP 14% over the last year versus the same time period a year ago - and the debt is increasing at only a 7% rate. if this keeps up, the Federal budget will be in balance in -- 2008!
Also, the country has been piling up debt since it's founding -- and it's never been a problem yet. Why can't the government sell bonds tomorrow to pay off the ones that mature today? In fact the debt burden today is far, far lower as a percentage of GDP than at the end of WW2 -- less than half. (145% of GDP in 1945 vs. 65%

A year ago the deficit was $408.2 billion over the previous 12 month period.
Today the deficit is $310.9 billion over the last year.
Today's number is smaller than last year, ergo the federal deficit is getting smaller -- even with all the crazy spending Congress is doing on highways, prescription drugs, wars and such.


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