What characterizes American government today is not so much dysfunctional politics as it is ruthlessly contrived governance carried out behind the entertaining, distracting and disingenuous curtain of political theater.
The fiscal-cliff deal was far from perfect -- but don't sniff at a serious surrender from the GOP. ...
We know we have a social contract. Reasonable people can disagree on how much government is responsible for that contract versus the private sector. That someone has to be, however, is not in dispute. That we have to pay for it shouldn't be either.
While Newt Gingrich represents much that has been wrong with the Republican party for the last 20 years -- and is as responsible as anyone for the extreme partisanship in Washington today -- he has clearly learned some lessons from the past.
At some point, it will matter if Little Dude understands how money works, but it didn't have to be today.
It should be obvious from these two extremes that what we really need is a system that is fluid while being disciplined, expansive without being prodigal, and one that employs a carrot along with the stick to move the U.S. back towards economic sanity. The trillion dollar question is: Does such a system exist?
With many cliffs looming in the future, it will take a crisis every time to provoke both sides to reach a deal, and the deals are likely to be incremental. But that's okay, because the national will needs time to shift.
Let's look ahead to the next 60 days and their potentially monumental ramifications for our country, our economy and our people.
One definition of leadership is "organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal." Mike Woodson, head coach of the New York Knicks, is a leader...
After months of negotiating, lawmakers reached an agreement to avoid the so-called "fiscal cliff." Featured in the measure is an extension of a renewable electricity production tax credit for wind, geothermal and some biomass projects.
While avoiding the fiscal cliff is evidence that our elected officials are not completely unable to work together or govern, there is still reason to believe that congress is not capable of governing the country in a serious way or of addressing any of the myriad problems facing the U.S.
Of course, words and images can undergo changes in meanings. What used to be acceptable can slip into disreputable. Suddenly, for example, sacrifice and compromise become dirty words. It would be nice if we could rise above such fears, control our hackles, keep our economy afloat.
Instead of making us give up the pensions and health care that we paid for, why not hold rich companies to the same standards as everyone else when it comes to paying taxes?
Three public figures associated with the movement to cut government spending appeared in the news this week. All three characters -- the Senator, the Lobbyist, and the Economist -- have encouraged steep cuts in government spending. But only one of them is going to heaven. Which one?
No wonder Congress is so unpopular. Last year's House and Senate teamed up to be the most ineffective Congress in decades. Sadly, the new Congress looks like it is going to underperform its predecessor.
During the months when the Congress and the press kept everyone on the edge of their seats wondering about the dreaded fiscal cliff, business behavior went on as normal -- and a mediocre normal at that. The lousy rate of job creation hardly changed. Detroit enjoyed a good fourth quarter as very low-interest rates stimulated auto sales. Christmas sales were about what was predicted, as consumers turned to their credit cards. To the extent that the economy has remained stuck in first gear, it has everything to do with high unemployment and lagging wages, and just about nothing to do with the fiscal cliff or worries about the debt ratio 20 years down the road.