While you were worrying about the Syria crisis, the U.S. Congress was doing the only thing it is truly great at doing: Nothing.
The country is now only a couple of weeks away from the latest self-imposed debt-ceiling fiasco, in which the Congress will threaten to refuse to allow the country to borrow enough money to pay its bills until the demands of specific political parties are met. According to Greg Valliere, the chief political strategist at Potomac Research Group, there's now a 25% chance that Congress will actually shut the government down. That's up from 10% one month ago.
And Valliere says there's a 55% chance that Congress's refusal to do a deal will lead to a Treasury quandary in which some bills go unpaid, at least temporarily.
What should ordinary Americans think about this latest news about their government?
They should be outraged.
Why? Because once again American citizens are having to waste their time worrying about a government crisis that is entirely self-imposed. And because threatening to default on obligations that the country is perfectly capable of paying is not something that any responsible country should ever even consider doing. To threaten to do this so various political parties can impress their constituencies, moreover, is beyond dysfunctional: It's pathetic.
When it comes to decisions that affect the entire country, the first commitment for every elected representative should be to put the country's interests first. Not the interests of particular voters. The interests of the country.
But, once again, what we see in Washington is not a Congress of professionals who are putting the country's interests first. What we see is a Congress full of kindergarten kids who don't care about anyone's interests but their own.
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