Ever watch one of those game shows where a contestant competes for money by facing an increasing series of harder questions? Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is a good example. We always want the contestant to go for the big win, even though the smart play is often to take what’s there and not be too greedy. But, it’s more exciting to see someone get the whole million, or lose everything trying.
Feast or famine, as a spectator sport. That’s what our RealityTV mindset craves. Well, get ready for some real excitment folks.
Congress is playing the same game now with the debt ceiling issue. Both parties are going to ignore the prudent course of actually putting politics aside and quickly reaching a sensible compromise. The fact that our economy just suffered a major blow a few years ago because smart rich guys recklessly gambled that housing prices would never go down doesn’t matter. That was last season. Now it’s time to play High Stakes Congressional Economic Gamble.
I guess we’re so addicted to this kind of drama that we’re willing to suffer another economic hit just for the thrill. So let’s see what kind of havoc political greed can bring us.
The only thing the Washington political greedmongers care about in the midst of this perilous moment is advancing the interests of their party. Sure, both sides have their extremist fringe groups, and both sides have to pretend that those people aren’t crazy. The thing is, though, in Washington it’s hard to diagnose crazy on an individual basis. The whole system is pretty off the wall.
At least in the game shows when the contestant loses it’s their fortune that is squandered. Congressmembers can gamble with impunity, which makes it harmless for them. For us, not so much.