Avoiding the Truth: The Hypocrisy of Debt Ceiling Deals and Bad Marriages

The debt ceiling deal has exposed our political system to be a lot like a bad marriage that perpetuates itself only when both parties to it tacitly agree to keep the relationship wholly superficial and at all costs avoid confronting the truth. It requires not only duplicity, but pretense, cynicism, hypocrisy, and a near complete abandonment of hope.

The details of the debt ceiling agreement are convoluted, upon which the illusion of substantive progress depends. But in fact most of the hard work has been left to the future, and that time-honored political dodge – a commission. As in a bad marriage there is so little confidence of it improving that even future action to reduce federal spending is predicated on automatic triggers rather than thoughtful deliberation.

Most observers would not have thought it possible for politicians to abdicate their responsibilities, let alone their principles, even further than they had over the past few weeks of negotiations. But with the final deal they managed to create a living monument to such cowardice.

The weak smiles of Senators Harry Reid and Charles Schumer walking through a Capitol corridor and captured on the front page of many papers the day the deal was done, betrayed the embarrassment of leading a party that has evolved, at least for now, into a paler, weaker version of their Republican counterpart. And President Obama, who put getting a deal ahead of his own once eloquently stated ideals, has unintentionally shown us just how much audacity it does take to continue to hope.

Related News

07 December 2023

A Year of Success: Share Our Strength’s Work in India

We believe every kid deserves to have the meals they need to thrive. Unfortunately, hunger is a reality for millions...

24 October 2023

RELEASE: Steven McCullough Joins Share Our Strength as COO

Nonprofit hires nationally-recognized executive to lead operations for the organization’s award-winning No Kid Hungry campaign, and shepherd its next phase...

26 September 2023

RELEASE: Share Our Strength Honors Black Leaders on the Frontlines of Fighting Poverty

’Voices of Resilience’ event spotlighted the ongoing work to fight hunger and generational poverty in Black communities  Contact: Meredith Jorss...