KATIE ZERR: Washington lacks truth, leadership


While there is plenty of blaming going on in Washington over the sequester cuts and damage it will cause, and the winner-take-all attitude of the parties involved, something is being overlooked: the growing ire of the American people.

As a whole, we the people are growing wearier everyday of the regurgitated rhetoric coming from both sides of the aisle.

There are those who listen to the White House releases draped in the gloom and doom of the administration’s side of sequester budget cuts. Those who voice the Republican side say the administration could have stopped this if it had been serious about making cuts to “entitlements” and if the Senate had put forth a budget plan.

What Republicans are labeling as entitlement programs, Medicare and Social Security, should not be considered as such. These are programs that every person who has worked in this country legally has been paying for week in and week out since the day they started working. The reason these programs are not healthy is not because the American people have not paid for the program as it was intended, but because Congress used the funds for other programs. The administration of those funds was mishandled by Congress, putting the programs into jeopardy. Congress is saying we don’t have a right to the funding we have paid for throughout our lives. If they had not continued to dip into that funding and created programs paid out of it, there would not be a problem.

Republicans are saying the administration is changing the rules of the game, trying to squeeze tax reform into the sequester mix.

Has it occurred to the American people that the reason members of Congress don’t want to close tax loopholes for those who are millionaires is because closing these loopholes would mean they would have to pay more taxes?

Nearly half of the members of Congress are millionaires, according to the Center for Responsive Politics (CRP), a Washington watchdog. The median net worth of a U.S. senator was $2.63 million in 2010, up 11 percent from the year before. The median estimated net worth for House members was $756,765.

The median net worth of House members almost tripled from 1984 and 2009, while the net worth of Americans declined during the same time, according to the Washington Post and the University of Michigan.

Who are they protecting? If one segment of our society has to pay the all taxes we owe, why not all segments of our society?

Between the Obama Administration crying wolf and Republicans standing firm on cutting programs that aid older Americans and the less fortunate, we the people again take the brunt of their irrational posturing.

The fallout of the sequester cuts is keeping the American public on edge and fiscal issues the main focus in Washington. That means proposals to reform immigration, tighten gun laws and raise the minimum wage will be put on the back burner once again.

Both parties proclaimed the other at fault but the truth is the sequester is a joint party creation to force them to work together toward a setting a budget for the federal government. That failed miserably.

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll showed neither Republicans nor President Obama and the Democrats are escaping blame.

The president’s approval rating dropped to 47 percent in a Gallup poll last week, down from 51 percent in the previous polls.

While most polls show voters blame Republicans primarily for the fiscal mess, the American people are saying the president and Democrats are to blame for the worst effects of sequestration, like the looming furloughs of federal workers.

Polls show that 37 percent of the people say both parties are to blame.

While President Obama continues to preach about Congress fixing this problem, we the people are getting sick and tired of listening to rhetoric and seeing the same old games in Washington.

It is time the president shows that leadership is more important than winning a fight and for Congress to show that what is best for the country, not themselves, is their priority.

– Katie Zerr –


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