A Manufactured Crisis

Today, the House is expected to reject the Senate-passed two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. The Senate passed the two-month extension and left town in an attempt to not only pass the buck until February, but to also try and force the House to accept their terms (which include scrapping unemployment insurance reforms), and make it appear as though the Senate is the adult in the room. It really doesn’t pass the laugh test.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) explained the situation as a manufactured crisis:

“I don’t know why we persist in what can only be labeled Munchausen by proxy syndrome. … We create a crisis, rush in to avert the crisis and you wonder why everyone is not happy with you. This is the most manufactured crisis on both sides – I can’t say ‘that I’ve seen’ because we’ve had a series of crises this year.”

And this is not the first time that such a “crisis” has been created. Every year, it seems as though Congress procrastinates until the final weeks of December on major legislation. This year it was spending and taxes. Last year it was taxes. The year before was Obamacare. It happens every year, yet they never learn. Rep. Gowdy is absolutely correct when he calls such action a “manufactured crisis.”

There are many reasons such crises come about, but one of the most glaring is because there is no leadership in our country right now. President Obama is in full campaign mode and has no interest in actually doing the job he is campaigning for. At the daily White House press briefing yesterday, Jay Carney dodged repeated questions about whether President Obama had been in discussions with Republicans in the House. Roll Call reported that:

“The White House was as stunned as anyone when House Republicans balked at the deal, sources said. Obama himself had declared it a victory Saturday for the middle class.”

You know, if the President had been in discussions with House Republicans, he would have known that they wouldn’t accept the deal and would insist the Senate come back to Washington to hammer out their difference. But then we’d all know for sure that the President is skirting his responsibilities.

This is the problem with Washington today. There’s no leadership. Politicians create political crises, and then pretend to solve them.

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