Holiday Cheer for Boehner, Jeers for Us

Air Force One has landed; President Obama cut short his family vacation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid  addressed the nation and legislators…of one party. Yes, it’s still holiday time in the nation’s capital as it is elsewhere so celebrations and relaxation are expected. But when you have a nation to run, and the taxpayers business to manage, it behooves you to drag your tired arse back to work to do the job the citizens elected you to do.

But that is not the case — because while the President is back in town and ready to get to work, Speaker of the House John Boehner is still on vacation along with his Republican colleagues. As noted by Harry Reid this morning, the Speaker advised the House that if he should need them to return to work he will give them 48 hours notice. It’s Thursday, so assuming he gives notice today means that our duly elected officials will not return until at least Saturday. If our representatives are not working during the week, are we to expect that they will work during a holiday weekend?

Taxpayers be damned.

Let’s be clear: It’s no longer just about the fiscal cliff in which everyone’s taxes will increase as of January 1st. The  nation’s debt ceiling is also at stake. Do you remember what happened the last time our leaders did battle over the debt ceiling? Do you recall that many of our representatives don’t even seem to know that the debt ceiling is not about borrowing more money but, rather, it’s about not being a deadbeat nation to the rest of the world?  It’s about taking care of, managing, and paying off the debt that we have already incurred –  you know, much as any household would be expected to do, i.e., pay its bills no matter what the source of those bills happens to be.  We are still paying for multiple wars, the wealthy have enjoyed a massive tax break for years, and our economy has not fully recovered.

If Congress doesn’t act to increase the debt ceiling here’s what happens:

~ The U.S. can’t pay its bills in full or on time…and
~ That means a lower credit rating…and
~ That means the stock market, that entity to which our 401(k)s and pensions are tied, sells off…and
~ That means banks will struggle to make loans…and
~ That means further stalling an economy that has yet to roar its way out of the financial fiasco of several years ago.

And when the US market sneezes, given that we’re all connected in a global economy, that means there will be other economies in the world that catch pneumonia.

So, when Congress doesn’t act – or behaves irresponsibly because our elected officials don’t understand that raising the debt ceiling isn’t just about taking on new debt but, rather, paying the debts we already have – it’s the taxpayers who pay the price.

This is our tax dollars at work.

Thanks, Congress!