What a mess.


Sometimes I am such a ridiculous news addict. For the past two weeks, even on my camping vacation, I have been glued to the latest news stories.  Like a voyeur at the scene of a deadly highway crash, I have been unable to look away as our government has careened from financial disaster to financial disaster.  Yeesh.

I’ve been listening to lots of talk shows, lots of economists, pundits, talking heads, lobbyists, experts and columnists.  Some say “A”, some scream “B”, some claim its all about “A/B”.  What do I know? I’m just a fifth grade teacher.

I don’t understand one damn thing about treasury notes, bonds, international bond ratings or debt ceilings.  I don’t know how to fix this mess.  That’s why I am not an elected official. I know what I don’t know.  You know?

Here are a couple of observations, though, that even simple elementary school teachers can probably grasp with our simple brains.

One: Its pretty stupid for members of Congress or the Administration to keep screaming that the whole mess is someone else’s fault.  I mean, if you are an elected official and you have been shrieking “NO!!” at every idea that isn’t yours, then this is your fault.  If you are an elected official and you have been unable to articulate your position clearly enough to get anyone to compromise with you, then this is your fault.  If you are an elected official and you have been just standing there staring like  a deer in the headlights, then this is your fault.

Two: If there isn’t enough money in the bank, you can’t just stop spending money.  You also have to GET MORE MONEY.  I know that the Washington talking heads like to talk about how “every family has to learn to live within its means”.  They love to talk about “tightening our belts.”  But you know what?  When Paul and I had three little kids, a big mortgage and rising health insurance costs, we didn’t just decide to stop feeding the family.  We didn’t just eliminate everything other than bread from our diet.  We also decided to work more.  Paul saw more clients and worked more evenings, and I added some private practice hours to my full time teaching schedule.  This is not rocket science.  If you don’t have enough money, you NEED MORE MONEY.  Why does this seem too complicated for half of Congress to understand?

Three: Since we all are most likely bright enough to understand item #2, why doesn’t anyone in Washington have the courage to just say it out loud?  I mean, why are we talking about cuts, cuts and more cuts without anyone stating the obvious fact that we NEED MORE MONEY? If there is a revenue source other than taxes, I wish they’d let us know what it is.  Can members of the House start moonlighting as clowns to bring in some additional revenue?  Can they sell off the old furniture from the Capitol?  I don’t know: I’m just a fifth grade teacher. But however it is done, even a simple every day American like me can grasp the fact that this is a moment in history when someone needs to stand up tall, grab a bullhorn and yell,

“Hey!!  You guys!!  We don’t have enough money here!  LET’S GET MORE MONEY!”

Sheesh.

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