Budget deal: Christmas gift or Christmas coal?

Dec. 20, 2013 @ 08:22 AM

It wasn't trumpeted with any fanfare by national media, Democrats, Republicans or even the White House.

Nonetheless, Congress agreed to a bi-partisan two year budget agreement Wednesday but everyone from Washington to the West Coast remained cautiously optimistic.

There is certainly justification to what others may perceive to be political pessimism during a year that could only be classified as an epic failure for our national government.

Plagued by a government shutdown and a disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act, perceptions of leadership in Washington have sunk to all-time lows.

Congressional approval ratings are in the tank and President Barack Obama is in danger of joining them in the basement of American sentiment.

So, just how should the American public view this latest attempt at bi-partisanship?

It certainly wasn't rife with the traditional banter of gamesmanship or finger-pointing that we have been accustom to seeing over the last year.

But, it is hard not to see an underlying message with the ease of its passage.

Could this latest deal be good for the Obama Administration which has seen its legislative agenda languish in the depths of partisanship?

Perhaps this deal does nothing more than provide a veiled attempt to misdirect the American public at a government shutdown that plagued Congressional Republicans with the lowest approval ratings in recent history.

With that, the deal could also keep the attention on the boondoggle of the Affordable Care Act website rollout which proved to be nothing short of a disappointment.

It can also be viewed as a way for Congress to get out of the nation's capital in a big hurry.

We can still see the economy being held hostage by political wrangling in Washington as Republicans continue to seek some form of tax concession in trade for raising the nation's debt ceiling.

On the other side of the coin, Obama and his administration have continuously indicated they will not "pay ransom for paying America's bills."

It seems to us that 2014 has nothing in store but more of "the beat goes on" in Washington.

With battles coming on immigration and minimum wage, it is safe to assume the American people will be subject to the same Washington two-step they have been accustom to seeing over the last 12 months.

So, enjoy this moment of both sides coming together and embracing bi-partisanship because it won't last.

And the only ones that will pay the price for both parties moving back to their respective sides of the aisle will be us, the American people.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Alex Moore, Tom Padgett and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark