By Kathi Bliss
When I was little, like most children I suspect, I hated cleaning my bedroom. I hated it so much that I would often (like most children, I suspect) fight, cry and scream over NOT picking up my stuff. When I finally, inevitably lost the battle, I would spend the next 12 minutes or so, stuffing whatever would fit under my bed, and hiding the rest of my toys, books and clothes in the closet.
I’d then bounce out of my room, ready to go play outside… and hope that THIS TIME, Mom wouldn’t look under the bed. My mother is no slouch, though, and she caught on to that game pretty early on. I imagine that most parents do.
I don’t remember how many times I tried to pull that trick before it simply stopped being worth it. It must have been more than a few. But then… I was 10 years old, and when you’re 10, you’re still learning about boundaries, trial-and-error and the definition of insanity (repeating the same behavior expecting different results).
When you’re an adult… say when you’re old enough to get yourself elected to Congress… you should have already learned those lessons.
It seems, however, that we have elected both a Senate and a House of Representatives full of folk that still believe that we’re not going to look under the bed. They still think that they can move the bed over the soda stain on the carpet, hide the broken toys in the closet, and we will not notice that the mess hasn’t changed.
For years, Congress has been shoving things in the closet. They have been rearranging funds, moving money, and playing a shell game with our taxes.
They try to divert our attention to the clean spot on the floor, thinking that we’re not going to notice the mountain of dirty laundry peeking out from under the bed.
Meanwhile, the government is asking us daily for “new toys.”
Yet, we’ve been given no evidence that they can be trusted with the things we’ve already given them.
It’s barely been two weeks ago, our President stood before the nation and told us, during his State of the Union Address, that our nation cannot go on skipping from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis; he said our leadership has to stop playing politics and start leading.
And here we are, 15 days later, staring down the barrel of yet ANOTHER manufactured crisis, the “sequester cuts,” which our leadership cannot seem to come together and find a way to avoid.
Not being an economist, I will confess that I don’t understand all I know about the sequester cuts. I know that, like the fiscal cliff, like the “government shutdown,” and like every other impending financial crisis, they aren’t going to happen. I’m certain that sometime late on Thursday afternoon, someone is going to make a deal.
Our government will stuff yet more dirty dishes and broken toys under the bed, and hope that we don’t see them.
Guess what, guys and gals. We see it. The mess that you’ve made is not obscured by your attempts to cover it up. What’s more, your mess is not going away. It’s not going to clean itself up. One of these days, you’re going to have to stop being stubborn, stop being lazy, and clean up your room.
We, the People, would prefer you do that sooner, rather than later. We’re tired of looking at it. We are tired of being bludgeoned in the national media with threats of cuts to our defense, our Social Security, our education… We’re tired of it.
And we notice, ladies and gentlemen, that the threats of cuts do not affect YOUR salaries. They do not impact YOUR security services.
Once again, it comes down to this: You’re going to get your allowance – or your paycheck – whether you clean up your mess or not. And to me, that doesn’t seem fair.
So I’m committing, right now, right this minute, to not vote for a single one of you again, if you don’t pass a budget, and pass it now. And I’m going to ask all of my friends and neighbors to do the same. If you kick the can down the road again, you deserve to be fired.
Congressman Doggett, Congressman Farenthold… I’m looking at you.
You gentlemen are from opposite political parties, yet you represent the same people. Maybe you could sit down, have lunch and work out a compromise. And maybe you could encourage your colleagues to do the same.
Because stuffing the mess in the closet just isn’t working. It hasn’t worked in years, and it won’t work in the future. Please stop trying to hide it, and just clean it up.