I watched in disbelief as Luke Messer joyfully announced that he was supporting the tea party’s suicide efforts to bring about the recent government shutdown and near debt crisis. Then he voted in lockstep with the tea party against ending the debacle. Taking the nation to the brink of disaster is just another example of the winning at all costs attitude in our nation’s capitol. It used to be that these kind of politics stopped the day after the election and our elected representatives went about doing the people’s business.
What has Luke Messer accomplished in his first year in Congress? His biggest successes have been getting elected head of the freshman class and attempting to ruin the full faith and credit of the United States. Sorry, Congressman, this isn’t middle school. While it is certainly advantageous to build relationships and network with fellow members of Congress, a Congressman’s primary job should be to provide knowledgeable and mature leadership on important issues and efficient constituent services to his home district.
The financial services company Standard & Poor’s has said that the shutdown took $24 billion out of the U.S. economy, and reduced projected fourth-quarter GDP growth from 3 percent to 2.4 percent. In addition, the Council of Economic Advisers estimates that it cost the U.S. about 120,000 jobs. The largest fallout of Washington conflict is damaged consumer confidence which plummets during these periods of brinkmanship and businesses put off investment and hiring decisions which are key to economic recovery. At any reputable company, an employee that put up numbers like those would be fired. Unfortunately, our employee evaluations won’t be made until next November.
The stakes are too high to risk to continue playing games. People get hurt by these antics. Our economy may not be able to withstand a rerun of recent events when the temporary government funding runs out in January and we bump up against the debt limit in February, 2014.