A Plague O’ Both Your Houses!

Posted on April 5, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Mercutio Romeo And Juliet Act 3, scene 1, 90–92

“If we ran our company this way, we would be out of business before the end of the month”. Those are the words of a Fortune 500 client after spending two days walking the halls of Congress and learning about the Congress’ budget travails. In fact, two recent polls – one from the Pew Research and the other from the Washington Post – reveal roughly the same information. Approximately 37-39 percent of the population will blame either the Democrats or the Republicans, or both to equal measure, if the government is shut down on Friday.

I imagine the rest of the polled group either doesn’t care anymore or are so entirely fed up with elected officials that they actually think it would be a good thing to shut the monster down for a while. From our perspective, the impasse reflects a basic lack of leadership from both parties. Hence, we would like to recommend a rereading of Harvard law professor, William Ury’s classic negotiating skills book, Getting Past No. Passing budgets two weeks at a time is shameful. Passing legislation (such as the health care bill) that is crammed down the throats of the opposing party, only to be repealed three months later is really not a legislative success at all. A deal, that’s what the American people want… Just a deal.

Just today yet another budget plan was revealed. Rep. Paul Ryan, (R- WI) proposes trillions of dollars of cuts over the next ten years. “The Path to Prosperity” is filled with analysis, charts, graphs and sound reasoning. One Democratic insider who knows Ryan well has suggested that Ryan “is the real deal and Presidential material”. We will keep watching and weighing in as appropriate.

In contrast to the trillions in red ink, the President announced the launch of his Presidential re-election campaign. Perhaps you missed the small print that asks each member of his National Finance Committee to raise a minimum of $350,000. The President is counting on raising over $1 billion for his reelection. I received my first invite from the President today… Small Dinner and Discussion with President Barack Obama, $35,800 per guest, $71,600 per couple. Really???

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