Imagine if you will, a house without a roof. Add to that the fact that no one temporarily living there seems concerned that the roof is gone. I should also add that the residents do not own the house and are paid by the owners full room and board and living expenses. Furthermore, the residents appear to only be concerned about things such as picture placement in the rooms and the quality of the china they eat their meals on. When the owners do come around the inhabitants seldom even make note of the visit. Now the question is, whose fault is it that the house has no roof? Welcome to the legislative branch of the American government and the fault that the house has no roof is yours!
I’ve heard it said many times, as I am sure you have as well, that our system of legislative government is broken. The idea that all three of the branches of the government could, would and should work together and adequately provide the checks and balances we need to operate our democracy is becoming more and more a tale of folklore of days gone by. The new reality is that Presidents can take the country to war with less than an eye nod of notice from Congress. Congress itself appears more interested in faux bi-partisanship than passing bills that their country direly needs. We now live in a day and age where every piece of legislation has a financial quid pro quo attachment to it, either to the supporting lobbyist or to jobs back home.
Our founding Fathers might be amused at how bad things have gotten as of late. They might go as far as saying, “We told you so!” Putting the vote in everyone’s hands was never how we had it set to go but the idea of their being three parts of government was set up specially to control the effects of money. You didn’t see this mess coming?” “ We did!”
Without a doubt the effect of lobbying, special interests, economic up and down turn pressures have all come together in a cauldron of government that seems at times paralyzed to act and mute to the demands of the people it was created to serve. Yet still very capable of addressing the moneyed interest of the economy and those which it serves. Case in point, there is a move among Democrats to extend the tax breaks for the wealthiest of Americans! Whose side are they on anyway?
Just as a house with no roof must bear the full brunt of the elements, our government seems poised to only react to the emergencies and demands that arise in the short term. Long-term thinking is neither feasible nor plausible when at every corner you find yourself having to put out fires. No wonder we no longer are the leader in the world in anything expect prison occupancy!
It would be easy to blame it all on money, whether too much of it or not enough. When government operates without regards to a bottom line on their checkbook, and policies are determined not by need but by who can best be appeased by adopting them, we find ourselves in the trouble we are today. Knowing what the problem is and understanding how we got here is a very large part of the solution. Sadly however, when those in charge could not be it appears less concerned about the roof over their heads and the institutions they were elected to preserve, protect and support, we all suffer. Like a good news bad news joke, the good news being the government is broke, the bad news being that putting a roof on our house is going to be a long and arduous job that no one at the present time appears ready to tackle.