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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
HomeOpinionColumnReason finally prevailed in the national debt limit melodrama in D.C.

Reason finally prevailed in the national debt limit melodrama in D.C.

By: Keith Kappes
Carter County Times

Like millions of other Americans, I was relieved that the Biden Administration and our divided Congress closed their political theatre and found a reasonable way to keep the federal government operating past June 5.

My sense of relief was based in part on the fact that my Social Security check and my military retirement check would not be interrupted. I wasn’t sure if my state retirement check or my part-time paycheck also would be impacted but that anxiety disappeared when the “deal” was announced.

I was happiest to know that the posturing and playacting had ended and that our manufactured fiscal meltdown had been averted in the nick of time. But I also knew in my heart of hearts that neither side wanted to be blamed for shutting down the government and triggering an economic calamity.

Frankly, as a student of politics and government, I was somewhat hopeful that President Biden would invoke the 14th Amendment so that the Supreme Court could tell us if Congress really could be ignored by the executive branch in such a situation. Alas, that question remains unanswered for the near future.

Most of all, the entire soap opera was a colossal waste of time and money and another example of the skill of our national leaders in distracting us and the news media from the real problems facing our country.

I use a football analogy to describe the “misdirection” plays we see too often from congressional leaders and the White House. Can you imagine the impact of something like FDR’s fireside chats in which Americans could learn the facts instead of the endless “spin” designed to gain a partisan advantage.

Hate speech and political grandstanding are more appealing to voters in each party’s base and there is no end in sight. Sadly, too many of us seem to be falling into the trap of “don’t confuse me with the facts”.

(Contact Keith at keithkappes@gmail.com.)



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