Yet when it comes to executing the decisions that matter, that will truly impact this country for generations to come, another set of three come to mind: those who don’t know what’s happening, those who watch what’s happening, and those who make things happen.
I won’t attempt to draw parallels between the three known political factions with the “doers” versus those who dawdle, for all bear some responsibility of seemingly waiting for something good to happen to them through no actions of their own. But let’s single out that specific category of “those who do” and determine what exactly it will take to turn any member of either party into genuine catalysts for change.
I’ve studied the debt ceiling debate and the impending crisis surrounding it for months now, and three key characteristics come to mind on what is needed to address and solve this intractable problem.
1) The first critical element to resolving any impasse dealing with spending the people’s money is compromise. As often as the term is tossed about, very few policymakers are willing to practice it, at least not when it comes to debt reduction. Notice how I did not use the word “consensus.” Long viewed as the preferred term of lawmakers because it suggested that both sides moved to the middle of a particular piece of legislation without surrendering one’s key agenda. Today, that can no longer be the case.
We need true sacrifice if the country is to return to fiscal balance. Taken further, that means both sides must acquiesce to significant, painful cuts. There can be no other way. The softer, easier alternatives of the past are just that – in the past. We can’t auction off the Post Office, shutter the Education Department or end federal funding of the NEA to pay for the piles of debt both parties have amassed through the generations.