The shutdown of our government and the possible default on our nations debt in just two weeks does not speak well for Congress or for the president. Both sides are playing Russian roulette with the economy.
As an active supporter of No Labels (NoLabels.org), a bipartisan organization dedicated to addressing the dysfunction and partisan bickering that permeates our political system, I am pleased that they have stepping up to the plate to address the budget and debt ceiling fight.
The leaders of No Labels have decided not be silent during the budget and debt battles. No Labels has called for a "ceasefire" to avoid the uncertainty brinksmanship creates and the job loss associated with it. It's called Jobs First. This idea is the 11th hour solution -- it is not the full peace plan rather just the ceasefire.
The following ad featuring Republican Governor Jon Huntsman and Democrat Senator Evan Bayh explains the Jobs First proposal:
The freeze on spending and on tax changes, until unemployment drops below to 6.5 percent, as proposed in the Job First bill, is something Republicans and Democrats should both embrace. The brinksmanship and blame game must stop.
As the financial markets brace yet again for the worst, the same old dysfunction in Washington continues. It is no wonder why the job approval rating of Congress is only 19 percent and the president's is below 50 percent.
Although not contained in the Jobs First bill, it is time for both parties to pledge not to hold the country hostage to the issue of the day in exchange for the raising the debt ceiling. While the Republicans are playing this dangerous game now, I have little doubt the Democrats will return the favor when the tables are turned sometime in the future.
The United States must always pay its bills, and this should not be negotiable. The concept of either party forcing the shut down of government in order to get their way is anathema to the premise our Constitution was founded on.
I fully understand the political risks that both the Democrats and Republicans will face in opposing the party leadership by supporting the No Labels Jobs First compromise. However, it is time for the real leaders to step forward and to put our country before party. It is imperative that members of Congress recognize that partisanship does solve problems or lead to real solutions that will move our country forward.
Effective leadership in Washington is sorely lacking. As the blame game continues, there is no leadership. Leadership is defined by results and the American public clearly believes results are lacking in Washington today. Unfortunately, as the old saying goes, action speaks louder than words, and all we are getting from Washington today are words.
The constitution itself is one of the great compromises in history, yet it has endured for over 200 years. As founding fathers did in crafting our masterful constitution it is time for Congress and the president to find a common ground to move our country forward.
Thomas Jefferson recognized that democracy was born from discourse and discussion, and that such resulting discussion would be replete with differing perspectives and opinions. This visionary group of men believed that ideological differences would ultimately lead to inquiry, and inquiry to truth. In their writings to each other they discussed how civil discourse and critical thought were essential for their grand experiment in democracy to withstand the test of time.
The No Labels philosophy of politics based on problem solving, civil dialogue and critical thinking, is substantiated by real proposals such as the Make Congress Work Plan, the Make America Work plan, and now the Jobs First proposal. All the plans are designed to improve the process of governance in our country. However change cannot and will not occur without the support of a substantial number of the 81 percent of the electorate who complain about how Congress runs, but do nothing to change it.
Now is the time for a new paradigm of politics in America.