I have held my fire until now regarding the pending default of the United States government.
In Federalists Number 10, Mr. Madison wrote about the dangers of faction, whether it is a faction of majority imposing its will on the minority or the minority imposing its will on the majority. Mr. Madison was quite clear that it was the so-called tyranny of faction that caused the republics of antiquity to fail.
It can be argued, that during the period in which the Democrats controlled the House of Representatives that there was a tyranny of majority in that they pushed upon the American people legislation that was frankly too European, in that it involved the national government in matters best left to the individual or to the states. It can be argued that today we are faced with the tyranny of minority, where a minority within the Republican caucus is holding the nation hostage over the question of raising the debt ceiling and attempting to force the default of our nation on its financial obligations.
The word compromise has become a vile and detested word in Washington; yet, it is the essences of governing. Both political parties have shown their distain for the ability of its leaders to compromise to accomplish what is necessary for the commonweal of the nation.
In addition to holding the nation’s debt ceiling hostage, the “Tea Party” caucus is demanding a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution. I have read the balanced budget amendment and it is faulty in many ways. First and foremost it is too long and too verbose; written by lawyers who wish to cover all loopholes in the future based on the present conditions. Second, and most importantly it ties the hands of the Federal Government from being able to use the other tool needed in sound fiscal policy the ability to raise taxes, by requiring a super majority of 2/3. Ours is a government where the majority rules and where the minority should use the opportunity to shape legislation, to include matters of taxes, in such a manner that it benefits the whole nation—unfortunately it requires them to participate in that dreaded art of compromise.
It is my fervent hope that the pendulant children from the President to the lowliest member of the House of Representatives will take a deep breath and begin to act like adults. Unfortunately, I am afraid they shan’t.