Everybody’s talking about the 99 percent and the 1 percent. I’m interested in the 9 percent: the percentage of Americans that polls say approve of Congress’ performance.
Who are these people? What are thinking?
And what will the percentage be when the congressional budget supercommittee, as appears inevitable, fails to reach a Grand Bargain and stave off huge automatic spending cuts?
But maybe the 9 percent are on to something.
The criticism of Congress is that it has failed us, the American people, by not solving a budget crisis that someone as level-headed as Erskine Bowles says could shatter our economy.
But isn’t that failure a perfect reflection of us, the American people?
Our style – my Boomer generation, specifically – is to borrow whatever we need to buy whatever we want, even if we can’t afford it.
Isn’t that exactly what the federal government is doing? Borrowing whatever it needs to buy us exactly what we want: plenty of government goodies and no tax increases, to boot?
And when the reckoning comes, our answer is always that somebody else should get their program cut or their taxes raised, or that somebody ought to eliminate all those people on the government payroll who are wasting time and doing nothing – although we’re incapable of naming a single one of them.