What Washington wants not what nation needs

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 13, 2011

Last week, Congress passed an eleventh-hour deal to raise the debt ceiling, thus allowing the federal government to borrow even more money to pay off its quickly accumulating debt. Despite this, the credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. from a “risk free” AAA to AA+.

In so doing, one of the reasons given was a lack of confidence in America’s lawmakers to be able to put politics aside and make prudent, sound decisions regarding the nation’s finances.

The results of the downgrade have already been seen. The stock market has been in a virtual freefall since the opening bell Monday. What’s more, when one considers the other countries

that still enjoy a AAA rating — Canada, Australia, Singapore and most of northwestern Europe —

it seems to indicate the U.S. has been hit harder and more rapidly by the current economic downturn than most other comparable countries.

Worse yet, it has made many ordinary citizens feel helpless as partisan politicians try to win for themselves instead of for the American people.

If this unfortunate predicament has shown the U.S. citizenry anything, it is that it really does matter who they choose as their elected officials.

It is an election year here in the River Parishes. In October, people in St. John the Baptist, St. James and St. Charles parishes will head to the polls to vote in elections for parish councils, state representatives and senators as well as statewide elections for governor and other positions. Now more than ever it is important to vote for the right person, and the way to do that is through educations. Learn as much as possible about each candidate before making a decision, and do not just look at a candidate’s platform but also at how willing they are to work

with the opposition to come to a compromise that works for everyone.

On a national level, maybe it is time for Americans to leave partisan politics behind and vote for the person who is truly the best candidate, not just the representative from their chosen party. Politics in the country has degraded to constant bickering and one-upsmanship among elected officials. Their actions show little regard for the American people. It is time for the American people to return the favor.