In the wonderful Broadway musical “1776,” John Adams expresses in song his vexation with the Continental Congress and its failure to act on a Declaration of Independence:
“You see we piddle, twiddle and resolve,
Not one damn thing do we solve …”
Maybe the current Congress should invite him back for a reprise. After all, members already have staged a quite a show of piddling, twiddling and resolving to act on the approaching tax and debt crisis without actually doing anything.
The Senate did take a vote on whether to extend Bush-era tax cuts for everyone or just for most of us who are not among the wealthy. It was a vote Kentucky’s senior Sen. Mitch McConnell, the leader of Senate Republicans, agreed not to block but then promptly pronounced meaningless. …
This comment came after McConnell dropped his threat of a filibuster so that the Senate could actually vote on the issue because of what he said was its importance to the American people.
McConnell’s side lost — sort of. But they came away with a vote Republicans can brandish prior to the Nov. 6 election in which they hope to win back the presidency and control of the Senate.
The subject — what to do about taxes and draconian cuts in spending that will start in January unless Congress actually does something — disappeared in the zeal of both sides to grab hold of a vote to use while campaigning.
Really, this is stage management worthy of a Broadway production! …
At this point, it is clear action is needed urgently from Congress to restore people’s faith in government, bring in revenue to pay for things everyone agrees are important, such as the military, and spur the very fragile economic recovery.
Rather than “piddle, twiddle and resolve,” lawmakers need to start talking in a rational way about how to fix this problem — and look further ahead than the next election when they do.
Otherwise, maybe it’s time to bring back John Adams, who eventually did help prod colleagues into signing the Declaration of Independence.
— Distributed by The Associated Press