Raincheck on the Fiscal Cliff - Page 2
Where republicans now argue the need for "fiscal responsibility" in funding social programs, Democrats are quick to remind them of their lack of the virtue in recent history. A 4 trillion dollar price tag for the Iraq war and 1.2 trillion for the Afghan war to date has only added to the balance on the national "credit card." Numbers republicans refuse to address and democrats love to remind them of.
While disaster has been averted for now expect little in the way of increased cooperation going forward. The deal passed Tuesday night by the House was born more of self-preservation than magnanimity. None in congress wanted to bear the heat of a constituency thrown back into a crippling recession born out of legislative inaction.
The logjam of the "Fiscal Cliff" is born once again out of political dogma. Where Democrats believe in government being a catalyst for economic growth Republicans see it as an impediment. Not since the Civil war has a congressional body been so divided by ideology and put the fortunes of the country in such peril.
If you require evidence, look no further than the close of Tuesday night's House session. Amidst impassioned pleas to act on a Senate bill that would authorize 60.4 billion in Sandy relief, the Republican leadership decided instead to end the session. Cries of "Speaker!, Speaker!" left hanging in the air as the Speaker pro tempore Steve Womack (R- Ar), quickly left the chair, his only response a shrug and outstretched hands.
Fanatical ideology still holds the reigns of congress. It remains to be seen if progress can replace it.