At the very heart of our democracy is the concept that we gather to share views, opinions and feelings, that we discuss our differences, and that we compromise to find equitable solutions to our problems. Clearly, this does not seem to be happening. The most recent case in point is the just passed 2 year budget plan. The good news is that our government agreed on a budget and passed it. It has been acclaimed as a great example of both political parties ability to work together. But look deeper. Look at the process of how agreement was achieved. Also look at the resultant product and its impact on our democracy’s future. What we find is far from a accomplishment to be celebrated.
Lets look at the assumed process. It appears that both sides put their wish list on the table, notably increased military spending and increased social programs. Both sides said ‘OK’ instead of a substantive debate coupled with a real concern for the national debt. The result was that both side got what they wanted and the country will suffer with trillion dollar (or higher if the economy falters) annual deficits into the foreseeable future. This clearly not a meaningful, productive debate and compromise with the best interests of the nation held as a high priority. Maybe this was the only way to get any progress. After all it is a budget and the increased spending will be stimulative short term. The pain will come in the future with higher interest rates, higher interest expense, and less budget available to allocate to real national needs. Sad, very sad. Another widening fault in fabric of our democracy.