Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Same Old Shootouts in DC

A week before Christmas and days after Newtown, Washington’s familiar faces are back with the old fiscal cliff reality show, along with a side-tent flim-flam over gun control.

Both ooze the sincerity of carnival pitchmen marking down prices of their elixirs before the suckers head home for the holidays.

Boehner is touting a Plan B on tax rates while the President offers to trim $1.22 trillion in spending  over ten years, much of it from “a new measure of inflation that slows the growth of government benefits, especially Social Security” along with “$290 billion in savings from lower interest costs on a reduced national debt.”

Somewhere in this never-neverland is a formula to give both sides the illusion of compromise while preserving the ground for manufactured future debt-ceiling crises to keep the old show from closing down after the new year.

So it seems to be with gun control as well, much harrumphing in the face of national shock and sorrow but no real commitment to change.

Even Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post editorializes: “Weapons designed expressly to kill human beings, and then modified (wink wink) to meet the federal machine-gun ban, have no legitimate place in American society. Time to get rid of them.”

But who will put the bell on that NRA cat? As petitions against violent video games mount, there is a “rising chorus, but not quite consensus, on guns” in Congress.

How many members will be singing peace-on-earth carols this week, only to retreat behind a gun-lobby shield when Christmas is over?

Whatever gifts politicians are wrapping for us now, it would be prudent to save the receipts and find out after the holidays how much they are really worth. 

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