There are times when it simply doesnít pay to be right, despite any joy one may take from an opportunity to say, ďI told you so,Ē most assuredly the case with the narrowly averted fiscal cliff thatís been all the rage on cable news in recent weeks. Which is why I was in no way, shape or form surprised this morning when informed by my landlord of a bi-partisan deal, agreed upon by lawmakers in the hours leading up to the supposed (can anybody say manufactured?) crisis.
Why is that, you ask? Well, letís just say Iíve been telling anyone who would listen (hey, thereís a few of you out there) to lay off the never-ending bombardment of fiscal cliff ďnewsĒ and stick to re-runs of their favorite sitcom Ė Seinfeld, for me Ė sadly a much more enlightening experience in my opinion. You see, for weeks now Iíve maintained that a deal would be reached, probably at the last minute (of course), and all this worry and concern was unnecessary, as our representatives in Washington were unlikely to let us know just how dysfunctional they really are.
Itís not that Iím clairvoyant or anything (although I probably should start playing the lottery), itís simply business as usual for our nationís leaders, who would much rather have us focusing on some mysterious fiscal cliff Ė one that seemingly came out of nowhere Ė than any of the real issues facing our country, particularly those that remain so controversial; controversial because common sense, like so many other worthy qualities, is on the decline in todayís America, no matter oneís political point of view.
Financially speaking, Iím sure this fiscal cliff was a big deal (at least thatís what they want us to believe), yet when it comes to the rights of each and every American Ė regardless of their station or beliefs Ė thatís when I really start to worry. Same sex marriage? A no-brainer if you look beyond the idealogy thatís holding up the process of its legalization. The right to bear arms? Another controversy that really boils down to the aforementioned common sense. And while I am absolutely not anti-gun, Iím am, in fact, a big fan of rethinking the way we address gun ownership.
Simply put, thereís no reason for anyone to own certain weapons, even though they certainly have the right to bear arms. Our liberties and rights can be funny that way, at times. And applying a little common sense can, in many instances, save a lot of time and frustration. For example, while I have the right to pack up my cubicle, grab my trusty Donít Believe the Liberal Media sign and set up shop in West Park to protest ... well, everything, I guess, having that right doesnít mean itís the wisest of choices.
In other words, just because one can do something doesnít necessarily mean one should.
As for Congress, I think I speak for many when I say Iím not impressed (and thatís putting it mildly). Sure, weíve avoided the fiscal cliff, whatever that means, although itís a hollow accomplishment Ė if it can even be called an accomplishment Ė and one that has overshadowed the growing disparity in this country. Even more disturbing? House Republicans refusing to vote on billions of dollars in aid to those areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy, a move that Ė more than any other Ė shows exactly how much our brave and glorious leaders really care for your average American.
Said one Long Island representative, a Republican, no less, ďIt is disgraceful. It even makes it worse being a Republican. It is terrible. I mean, my district was devastated. The whole region was devastated and we have never had a natural disaster before where Congress walked away.Ē
Not surprising, really, when you consider whatís truly important to the majority of our elected officials (or so it seems ... more and more) is not our common well being but money, plain and simple. And the fiscal cliff? Donít worry, there will be another looming financial disaster of some sort right around the corner. And Iím confident weíll avert that crisis, as well, even if itís at the last minute. As I said, anything to keep our collective mind off our real problems and Washington is happy.
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