I read with hope the statements Tom Rice made upon his election to Congress. Congressman Rice said that he wanted to work to achieve compromise and find solutions to the many serious issues looming large in our nation. We desperately need representatives who have the judgment and skills to actually achieve results, to find and implement solutions that will improve our lives and our nation’s security.
At a certain point, voters have a right to expect that those we elect to manage our government will transcend rhetoric and grandstanding, no matter how emotionally appealing, and actually run our government in a manner that at least does no harm.
Rather, in recent weeks, Tom Rice and some of his colleagues have not only failed to achieve any progress in reducing our deficit, reforming wasteful federal programs, or fixing or replacing parts of the Affordable Care Act, but they have harmed us all by jeopardizing our nation’s credit worthiness and spending billions to shut down the government and giving federal employees a paid vacation while depriving the public of vital public services, e.g., fishing permits, home loans, life-saving cancer treatments and veterans benefits.
Stories abound of average Americans who have suffered in recent weeks because of what in the end amounted to no more than a political temper tantrum. No business could afford to pay its employees to stay home, jeopardize its credit ratingand spend money to shutter the business, alienating the customers it serves, all just to vent frustration over a policy it disagrees with.
As Warren Buffet said, this is asinine. But this is now what Mr. Rice and some of his colleagues now are calling a worthy endeavor. To me, it is like shooting yourself in the foot and saying, “boy that feels good.” Mr. Rice would do well to listen to and learn from our senior U.S. Senator who understands that it is not the role of Congress to harm the people it serves, no matter how worthy the political ends.
The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.