As extremists in the House and Senate toy with their strategy du jour–threaten a government shutdown and force the United States to default on its debt–I want to offer a simple congressional questionnaire for our elected officials. [Note: I have provided the answers below just in case you’re unsure.]
A little background first.
The issues we are facing today–threatened government shutdown, the sequester nightmare, the possibility that the U.S. fails to pay its bills and a wobbly job market–are serious issues in need of serious solutions from the people we elect.
Careening from one budget crisis to the next is no way to run a government.
Telling the world that the U.S. may have to stop paying its bills for a while will roil global financial markets and put Americans out of work.
Hostage-taking strategies don’t solve problems or put a single American to work–they promise to keep Americans waiting for the people they elect to get serious about pushing policies that create middle-class jobs.
There are still 11.3 million Americans out of work and America’s transportation system is falling apart. In fact, the nation’s leading civil engineers give America’s transportation infrastructure a grade of D+. Here’s a thought: let’s put millions of Americans to work modernizing it since every billion dollars we spend on transportation employs more than 30,000 people…just sayin.
Okay, now the questions …
1) Do you believe the federal government does anything that should be funded?
2) Do you believe you should be entitled to hold hostage the funding for core functions of our government to get your way and scapegoat federal workers because you are a member of Congress?
3) Do you believe that making our government default on its debt to score political points with Tea Party extremists is a good strategy?
4) Do you believe it is okay to hollow out federal investments in jobs if it sinks our economy and leaves our transportation system in a free fall?
5) If bridges are falling down, our aviation system is using 1950s technology, our rail and transit systems are facing budget crises as demand soars, and our ports and navigation channels suffer from neglect, should we direct federal resources to solve these problems?
6) Do you believe the voters have had it with dysfunction and brinksmanship by the politicians in Washington?
Good luck with the test and no worries, if you fail it (as I suspect some of you will) you can retake it on November 4, 2014.
Answer Table: 1) Yes 2) No 3) No 4) No 5) Yes 6) Yes