Here we go again. The drama builds as Congress leaves any definitive action to halt automatic cuts to many critical budget items until the very last minute. They didn’t hesitate to take a break while the clock was ticking, though. In the movies or books that’s known as creating a “cliff hanger.”
What is going to happen? Will the train run over the damsel in distress while evil Jack Dalton twirls his mustache? Well then, “curses on you, Jack Dalton?”
It really wasn’t that long ago when the members of Congress would enter into negotiations to solve things like this. Not each side stonewalling the other, but real negotiations of give-and-take until an equitable decision is reached.
Today Sen. Elizabeth Warren called the automatic cuts in federal spending slated to take effect Friday “just plain dumb,” but the Bay State’s newly minted, but still senior, senator said it’s largely up to congressional leaders to reach a compromise.
Inaction and institution of the automatic cuts will resonate throughout the United States. Las Vegas, home to Nellis Air Force Base, will certainly be affected relative to mandatory reductions known as sequestration. Among other repercussions, if Congress and the White House don’t agree on a solution, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry Spencer said that like the Navy’s contingency plan for grounding the Blue Angels demonstration team, “we would discontinue the Thunderbirds probably around 1 April. I wouldn’t want to single out Nellis, but the weapons school (and) a lot of those things that happen at Nellis will be heavily affected by this.”
In a comment about the possibility of canceling Red Flag exercises having a “trickle-down effect, Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nevada said, “It does have an economic impact on our community. Red Flag is not just a great training opportunity for our pilots but an international training opportunity.”
As TV’s Dr. Phil would say, “What is Congress thinking?” There was so much lead time to settle these and other critical issues, but it is as though Nero fiddled while Rome burned! If Congress were a corporation, it seems that many heads would roll because of inability to reach a compromise.
If you are in favor of reinstituting the principles of negotiation rather than decisions by Armageddon, please post your comment.
MORGAN ST. JAMES is the author of ten books in publication and also writes the Writers’ Tricks of the Trade columns in the Las Vegas and Los Angeles editions of snaptwig.com. For more information about her, visit http://morganstjames-author.com, http://writerstricksofthetrade.blogspot.com.