Driving down the Tin Can Road
Now that sequestration has befallen us, we can turn back and reflect on how we got to this point.
The President and Congress have been hard at work, but that work has been more about doing as little as possible to spare the American people the pain of drastic across-the-board budget cuts.
It appears that our elected leaders are content to do that same dance we have all heard before ... kicking the can down the road.
Ever wonder what the Tin Can Road looks like? Rest assured it is not a pretty road and it's a far cry from a scenic drive.
It is a dead-end road. It leads to nowhere.
The shoulders of the road are littered with old rusty cans with labels like "debt ceiling," "continuing resolutions" and "debt reduction." At the end of the road lies a brick wall. Sprawled across that wall is the graffiti warning of impending hard times, heartaches, troubles and an assortment of calamities.
The Tin Can Road is a bumpy road filled with bruised egos, rattled financial markets and upended politicians. The ride shakes the American people's confidence in their elected leaders' ability to govern to the very core.
The Tin Can Road is also a toll road.
Every time a can is kicked down the road, a toll is extracted. The stock market loses value. Businesses shed jobs. The gross domestic product shrinks.
But worse yet is the human toll.
Livelihoods disappear. Income shrinks. Homes are foreclosed upon and families are left stressed to the brink of dysfunction.
Despite it all, we hope that the Tin Can Road is a two-way road.
The President and Congress can slam on the breaks, turn the government jalopy around, put the pedal to the metal and head out in the opposite direction.
Politicians can stop shouting at one another and start talking to each other. The hopeless pursuit of ideological purity can be set aside in favor of compromise as the means of governing and problem-solving. There can be unity of purpose between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, hawks and doves and Tea Partiers and bleeding hearts.
We hope to see the day when the Tin Can Road is closed to all traffic. We hope to see the day when our elected leaders chose to travel a new road.
The road that bypasses the hazards of the Tin Can Road is paved with good governance leading to better times.
By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board
The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark