A recent article pointing out little is getting done in Washington already needs an update. It honed in on the fact that while the doors are open it seems Washington remains “closed for business” and nobody has seemed to notice or care. It is surprising the lack of moving forward on a positive agenda to address some of the nation’s ills has not had a negative impact on markets. Our stock markets have continually made new highs as the economy struggles with multiple issues and faces an uncertain future. Even escalating tensions throughout the world and the threat of war has proven not to matter to markets as much as the flow of newly printed money and the expansion of credit from central banks across the globe.
The gridlock evident in government has done little to slow the advances of stocks on Wall Street because in the eyes of those buying stocks the promise of solutions is proving as good as the real thing. Investors seem oblivious to the reality no intelligent plans has been written or are moving through the halls of Congress. The fact is little progress has been made on healthcare reform and we cannot cut taxes while increasing spending at the same time without exploding an already massive national deficit. Just as remote as a “fix all for healthcare” is the likelihood of a tax plan being signed into law anytime soon that will simplify or solve our budget woes. The odds of getting a complicated tax reform bill through a polarized and divided Congress are nil.
Ironically the one thing both Democrats and Republicans can agree upon is the importance of avoiding the real work of addressing the problems plaguing America. It is difficult to argue with the fact America’s capital is locked in a dysfunctional mindset. Anyone who thinks the nightmare known as Obamacare is well on its way to being repealed or replaced by a “better plan” is delusional. Other than a celebration and photo-op when legislation passed the House little of substance is in the works. Sadly, the House bill was declared dead on arrival when handed off to the Senate and it is probably just as well because it did little to halt or resolve the misery caused by the soaring cost of healthcare.
It could be argued a polarized America has joined a polarized world in taking the course of least resistance and that is to do nothing. It appears most of the developed countries across the world are in exactly the same boat. Recently completed and upcoming elections hold little promise that things will be sorted out soon. For all the babbling commentaries of what the elections in France and Britain mean going forward, they simply reflect the fact that much of the world remains polarized. Populations seem split between the struggle to change course or move forward on autopilot. This situation is not new, this is not the first time in history we have faced polarization, however, with events occurring at an increasingly faster rate things seem a bit more pressing and even dire.
Thank goodness for the distractions that allow us to take our eyes and minds off the business of making the necessary structural reforms to move forward. The recent testimony of FBI Director James Comey following his being fired by President Trump can be considered one of those distractions. While few Americans were love struck over Comey this has stirred up a hornet’s nest and energized Trump’s critics. Throw in a bit of outrage over Russia logically wanting to sway our election and you have a real brouhaha. Only so many hours exist in a day and when they are spent or wasted in speculation the bottom-line is if nothing is getting done, Washington might just as well be closed for business. This means events will unfold with little real guidance.
It is difficult to believe the productivity of Washington could drop any lower than it has, however, as our elected officials busy themselves with calling for further investigations and making promises of getting to the bottom of “this” America moves forward on autopilot. The flavor of the day is same as it was yesterday and the year before, nothing has changed. The politicians and Washington elite continue dithering away their time as well as the money of the American taxpayer and even that of future generations. With matters under control and having completed his strenuous first 100 days in office President Trump continues with his agenda which should result in more of the same. So far President Trump’s big accomplishment has been to rollback many of the decisions made by the previous administration and too many voters this is hardly a reason for celebration.
With the days of “Hope and Change” firmly behind us and we are firmly on the path towards Making America Great Again, unfortunately, the message has fallen on deaf ears when it comes to our elected officials in Washington. Tonight I will raise my glass and toast the cynical and skeptical Americans scattered across this great land for again they are well on their way to being right about how nothing really gets done until the last minute and secure in knowing that any time or thing that offers Washington the option of delay will be exercised. A final though as I get ready to post this article, I think many Americans are beginning to realize this may be as good as it gets.
H/T: Bruce Wilds