Are there any ‘adults’ in the room?

Published 7:58 pm Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The news media has portrayed our President as the “adult” in a room full of children. That’s their way of painting the picture as President Obama calls in the leaders of both sides to try and work out some kind of solution to the latest impending crisis in Washington.

If the President is the only “adult” in the room, I would say we are in trouble.

I say the “latest” crisis, because it seems that’s the way we govern these days. Early in this administration’s days, I think it was Rahm Emanuel, the President’s first chief of staff and now mayor of Chicago, who said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

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It seems that we have been lunging from crisis to crisis ever since.

Just about every politician and pundit calls this crisis regarding the raising of the debt ceiling limit a very serious one. I believe it is a real problem and, in South Georgia parlance, it might even rate as a doozy.

Some crises come out of nowhere. Nations may do things that are reprehensible and have to be stopped. Mother Nature may raise her hackles and send us all kinds of meteorological challenges or crises. Society’s institutions may fail and create real problems. There are the ups and downs of economies. All of these kinds of real problems may generate crises.

The one we face as a nation now, real and challenging, is one of our own making. The fact is that we have been an irresponsible country with our credit card and our borrowing to pay off the card. We may not want to admit it, but our spending in lots of areas has been foolish. We have lived far beyond our means for a long time and, now, we face a sudden challenge to our financial appetite.

We’ve gotten ourselves in a pickle or in a difficult position. As a country, our appetite for those things we feel are necessary is insatiable. We simply cannot stop or will not stop, which is almost the same thing.

At the same time, people all over the world, who have been financing all this foolishness have taken a more serious look at their continuing investment and asked themselves a thoughtful question. Ask yourself the same question.

Living in America, as you do, and knowing where all your hard-earned tax dollars are going, would you invest in your own country?

I don’t ask would you buy shares in an American company that makes a product that is needed and worthwhile. I ask, would you invest in the American government and its solvency?

Good question.

The question hurries to the crux of the situation. The question is not a matter of money. The world, in general, and this country, in particular, still has plenty of that. Does the world, though, and Americans, themselves, have confidence in our way of life and our meeting of our financial responsibilities? To me, that is the question before our nation and the world. It’s a matter of trusting in the good, old U.S. of A.

Think about this scene. In the Oval Office of the White House who sits around the table? There are the President and John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Cantor and other party leaders who are not named. They have been called together to address an impending catastrophe. Or at least that’s what many say.

The question on the table is how we can raise the debt limit in a responsible way. In other words, how can we continue to borrow money and finance the same old, same old? The fact is that we owe more money than we can ever repay, but how can we get a little more. Try taking that story to the local bank.

Some say that if we fail to raise the debt ceiling limit, many will begin to doubt the “good faith and credit” of the United States. I don’t mean to be sacrilegious and no one loves this country more than I do, but it’s been a while since I’ve had a whole lot of faith in the “good faith and credit” of my country.

I know that sounds harsh and please don’t think that I am not proud to be an American. Of the many blessings in my life, one of the greatest, right behind God and family, would be country. But, if I had a million dollars to invest in something safe and long lasting for the benefit of my grandson, I would be hard-pressed to choose the government of the United States.

And that’s my point. I just don’t have that trust anymore. I don’t trust that Oval Office meeting to make a good decision for me. I’m not feeling all that confident that either party is going to come through with a great solution to this problem of ours. If I hear the phrase “kicking the can down the road” one more time, I’m going to feel like kicking someone’s can down the road in the 2012 elections.

So what do I expect?

I expect a whole lot of talking and political posturing. I expect it won’t be long, certainly within two weeks, that the only “adult” in the room will be perceived as prevailing in this latest crisis. He and his group will get together in the Rose Garden and they will all put on smiling faces and talk about how, in the end, common sense won the day. The nation was saved.

Then, pretty soon, the children will go back outside and get that old can and kick it down the road one more time. God help us!