The wheels on the bus keep on spinning

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Only in America, where the right to dissent is actually applauded, can a compromise that took weeks to draft be trashed by every side of the fence the moment it gets announced.

The Tea Party is mad. The ultra-left liberals are horrified, and the regular Democrats and Republicans feel like they are being pulled in a thousand different directions. The president is grinding his teeth as he announces the compromise because he knows neither side has won and every side is mad.

So, where do we go from here? Well the deal seems like it will save the American people a little over a trillion dollars over the next 10 years beginning in the next three years. How’s that for saving? Imagine telling your bankruptcy judge you plan on cutting your spending over the next 10 years starting in three years. That’s essentially what the leaders in Washington have done. The real “cuts” in the bill don’t take effect until 2014 after two, yes two, congressional elections and a presidential election.

While it appears the nation’s economy has averted a short-term fiscal default, I truly believe no substantive reforms were made to ensure we don’t have this argument again in the near future. Temporarily saying we will cut money in the future to appease the “cut and balance” Republicans to vote for a debt ceiling increase is simply robbing Peter to pay Paul.

America cannot continue to survive by spending over $1 trillion a year more than it takes in. Either taxes will have to go up or spending has to go down. There is no other option. Getting a temporary increase in your credit line does not make you financially healthy; it puts you deeper in the red hole of debt.

We must quit lying to ourselves that our weak economy will just build itself back up and fill the gap between expenses and revenue. It’s the equivalent to hoping for a raise to pay for the second mortgage you just took out at the bank.

As we watch the world analyze the “deal to save America,” we should listen carefully to the tune playing in the background. A tune that goes like this, “the wheels on the bus go ‘round and ‘round…” because we’ve been here before and we’ll be here again.

The last bite…

This weekend I went, for the first time, to the Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo and got to see the biggest fish I have seen in my life. It is wonderfully amazing to think that those large animals are swimming off the coast of Louisiana. The food was good, local and fresh. We ate grilled oysters and fried fish at the Rodeo. Then the family went crabbing off of a pier and caught five dozen crabs in an hour and a half. By lunchtime, the crabs were boiled, soaked and spread across a table. It was a true Louisiana weekend, and the flavors of our Gulf Coast seafood are as good as ever! I give eating boiled crabs you caught yourself 5 (out of 5) crumbs!

 Buddy Boe, a resident of Garyville, owns a public relations and program management company and is well known on the local political (and food) scenes. His column appears Wednesdays in L’Observateur.