Editorial: Good help in America elusive

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 07:31 PM

Looking inept as ever, Congress underwhelmed us again this week with passage of a bill that should have averted the fiscal cliff but instead reminded us of how poor our $174,000-a-year help can be when inside the Beltway.

Disappointing doesn’t begin to describe our feelings on a group, both Democrats and Republicans, which failed to lead when we needed it most. Workers who make up the backbone of the economy didn’t catch a break, but entitlement riders did. The bill is laden with pork, not meaty solutions to financial stability.

Our economy has been ravaged. We live in an instant world, able to connect with anyone in the click of a second, go places with ease. And yet, we watch ourselves, our neighbors and our country struggle with money, or more to the point, struggle without money.

Incentives for people to go back into the work force remain elusive. Jobs that can be filled by the unemployed simply cost too much for those who play the system, know where their money is and don’t mind allowing Congress to reaffirm its position as the enabler.

President Barack Obama collected Republican votes to raise taxes on the wealthy. His jovial demeanor Monday was polarizing, not unifying, at a time that cried out for a serious, understanding leader.

Republicans could soon find another crippling blow in the fallout, when Mitch McConnell has to answer at his Kentucky home for a deal primarily brokered with Vice President Joe Biden. And Biden? His party will be glad to spin his hand in the agreement when 2016 comes calling and the GOP is again scrambling to find the right candidate.

Without a change of course, our $16 trillion debt will seem like a dream figure to chase by then. There was no decision on the debt ceiling and spending cuts, only a baton pass from the 112th Congress to the 113th. The political do-si-do resumes in two months.

The ides of March? Count us among the confident our Beltway Bumblers can lower their efficiency.