Saturday, July 23, 2011

Who's Got Skin In The Debt Ceiling Game?

There's a lot of discussion, posturing, blaming, etc. going on with this whole issue on raising the debt ceiling.  Both sides blame the other and are predicting dire things if they way isn't followed.  What I wonder though, is how invested are they?

If an agreement is not reached, how will it affect the President and the Congress?  Will they stop getting paid?  Will they lose any benefits?  Do they have any real skin in the game?

It's a lot easier to be cavalier and idealist about these things when it's other people's money that's at stake.  Perhaps an agreement would come faster if our leaders actually had their paychecks at stake.

Just something to think about.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Pragmatism vs Practicality

I recently wrote, in another blog, about what I called Gadget Lust - you know, the desire to get those cool gadgets that are coming out all the time.  A desire that can transcend their usefulness and leave you with a cool gadget that you never use.  I've been thinking about that and wondering if it doesn't pertain to politics as well.

Many of us are idealists.  We follow our principles and try to leverage them into policies in an attempt to make the world (or even just our hometown) a better place.  Some days I find myself brimming with ideas and energy and I want to make all of them reality.  It's here that I wonder - perhaps I'm running faster than my feet can carry me.  Perhaps some of these ideas, ideas which sound good and right, are not all they're cracked up to be.

This is a bit of a cautionary tale.  When you come up with a grand idea; one that seems so perfect and right: stop for a bit and reason it out.  Will it really have the effect you think it will?  Are there any unforeseen consequences?  Does it need to be properly vetted before it is made into law?  It is far easier to enact a law/policy than it is to repeal it.  I'm simply urging a little caution (to myself as much as anybody else).  Like to old carpentry saying goes, "Measure twice and cut once."  Let's make sure we know what we're doing before we do it.