The common good continues to be subordinated to the corporate bottom line in Washington, where dialogue has been almost exclusively reduced to forms of extortion of the working class by the monied class, at the expense of the planet and democracy.
Congress' focus is in the wrong place. The biggest challenge the U.S. faces right now is the jobs deficit, not the budget deficit. Unemployment rates determine a healthy and functioning economy, and those rates are reaching new heights.
In the 20th century we saw examples of what happened when nations were stripped of their morale and lost their spirit. They fell into fascism or totalitarianism. We need job creation and morale building not deficit reduction.