I quote politico.com,
"“The Ryan proposal could be the foil Obama needs,” said former Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala, who could not sound happier at the prospect. “I hope every vulnerable Republican in Congress signs on to the Ryan plan to kill Medicare, because we will beat ’em like a bad piece of meat.”Let me begin this by saying that the Paul Ryan plan isn't perfect. For those of you who don't know, the Paul Ryan budget plan aimed to slash 6.2 trillion dollars in a decade and reduce the federal deficit by over 4 trillion dollars. Its aim was to reduce the deficit through entitlement program reforms. A massive overhaul of medicare was a part of the proposal. Some of its claims about its own ability to massively slash unemployment are not only untested but probably falsities. However, to date, its the only proposal we've heard from either side that actually moves toward reducing the federal deficit.
Now, please take the time to go up and read that quote one more time. Does it make you a little angry, frustrated, or discontented? Do you get the feeling when the parties talk like this that they aren't taking things seriously enough? Worse yet, I read that quote, and it feels like the whole thing is just a big game.
The games played in our two party system became apparent to most of us a long time ago. However, quotes/articles like this will always strike a nerve in me. One could argue that the fiscal state of the United States is the single largest issue impacting national security, and yet the two parties seem to be only concerned about their consolidated powers in 2012. Remember, the former Clinton adviser "could not have sounded happier." Happy? The fiscal crisis is dangerous and growing exponentially more so every year.
This led into me thinking about the illusion of choices. One week Pepsi's on sale, the next week its Coke, AT&T or Verizon, and Republican or Democrat. After all, the rates, sales, and options are all worked out. You feel like you are getting a choice right? However, in the end, you are paying about the same price, for the same service, regardless of which one you choose. In fact, the differences have become so subtle and minute, that in some ways your decision isn't really a decision at all.
This is true of politics as well. It seems, we are being given the illusion of choice, but its all part of the power sharing game. The pertinent issues are merely avenues by which politicians skirt and make minor tweaks to. Those minor tweaks are then heralded as major political victories. In the quote, the pertinent issue is medicare reform. The former Clinton adviser laughs at the Republican Paul Ryan for trying to tackle the issue. Notice the critic offers no medicare reform solution of their own. Ryan's own party then distanced themselves to avoid association with a budget that would be viewed as cutting medicare. So neither side will tackle the issue?
Has our two party system lost its steam? Although the free market has its criticisms, I think its principles apply here. Maybe a lack of competition in the two party system has resulted in a stale/stagnant government that fails to function? It makes no difficult decisions but simply continues with the status quo regardless of necessity. That sounds like failure to thrive to me.
As always, your thoughts and feelings are appreciated in the comment section.