I have seen several expressions of how the end of the world will be experienced. Recently the movie 2012 with John Cusack portrayed a cataclysmic ending to our life on this planet. Jehovah’s Witnesses over the years have predicted several ends, while others were not so specific but said the same thing. Don’t get me wrong I believe Jesus Christ will return, but I also believe that no one knows the hour and we should be living each moment as if He is returning in the next moment.
But the end that I want to talk about is not a prophetic end, but a pathetic one. It is in response to an article in this week’s Business Week magazine written by Peter Coy. He argues on January 1, 2013, which still seems a long way off, that if the Congress does not agree on how to deal with the debt and deficit problem, then tax increases and spending cuts will automatically begin. What Coy calls the Chicken Summer occurred in 2011 with congress putting off budgetary action until a later date. If there were real leaders they would have dealt with this immediately.
Our economic recovery is running about 2.4% since 2009. Economists are describing this as anemic. Therefore, if these spending cuts and tax increases occur it can put our so-called recovery in jeopardy. “Congress could inadvertently send the U.S. economy hurtling over what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently called a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases.”
Congress has several choices in how to handle this event. They can make the tough decisions and fix the long term budget issues. They can compromise and do something that kind of fixes things. Or, they can have another Chicken Summer. Based upon previous congressional actions we know what will happen. Soon I will be writing about the Chicken Summer of 2012.
The lack of leadership in this situation is incredible. On top of this people who do try to work together are censured and disciplined by their party leadership to ensure they don’t become too effective. An example of this is what has happened to Mark Boldt in Clark County, Washington. Mark has been a county commissioner in Clark County for many years. I have voted for him many times. He has done an excellent job for the county. Recently, because he was too effective, Clark Country Republicans punished him for not adhering to Republican ideals. I guess he and Steve Stuart, Democrat, were getting too much done.
Is it any wonder why Brian Baird and Olympia Snowe have left congress? Even the Supreme Court has become polarized with one swing vote. Where are the leaders that will positively affect our country? Where are the leaders that figure our what is right and then influences people to believe and accomplish what needs to be done.
Maybe Coy is right. Maybe we need an end of the world experience to get our act together.
And that is my thought for the day!