Fiscal cliff negotiations have reached a standstill. As of Sunday afternoon, Democrats say the talks have stalled over whether to include changes to how Social Security payments are calculated.
Should our Social Security even be a bargaining chip on the table of a resolution of tax breaks for the wealthiest of Americans?
Do you actually buy into the sound bite that the fiscal cliff is about dealing with the deficit in a serious way?
Are Republicans really dealing in good faith when they continue to refuse to hike tax rates on the richest taxpayers?
Substantively and procedurally, the Republican Party has gone beyond the usual and acceptable political maneuvering. While neither party is above political posturing, Republican game playing and putting short-term political gain ahead of urgent national problem-solving has become ideologically extreme, scornful of compromise and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
This dysfunctional partisan polarization depends upon our short memories, low information, a continuing pattern of disenfranchisement, legalized gerrymandering and an election cycle where willful obstruction no longer fears accountability.
Elections are meant to punish such extreme and destructive behavior. However, this destructive political behavior is intended to upend the President–it has continued since the first day of his Administration. Worse, it now shows no sign of abatement. This reflects a broken political system where a determined minority can carry out a formula for obstruction and policy irresolution serving only self interests and that of their campaign funders.
The absence of functionality in the American political system is highlighted by a willingness to ignore the self-inflicted and real consequences to the “people” of this country. It demonstrates no concern or fear of political consequences.
We have endured high levels of unemployment, stagnant wages and a decline in the net worth of households in pursuit of lower taxes, smaller government and what some consider traditional American values when in fact the real purpose is delivering an
economic return to campaign funders.
America is in need of election reforms as our two party system is no longer functional. Americans too need to stop pointing the finger of blame in the partisan debate and think outside the box. Demand accountability!