The headline on my laptop screen said, “Crisis Averted..11th Hour Deal to Keep Government Open”. Whew!! That was close. For a minute there I thought our nation was in some sort of financial trouble what with trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see and all. But this morning I learn that the “Crisis” has been averted. Our brave congressmen and senators with the tireless help of the First Cheerleader urging them on, hammered out this historic compromise proving once again that in times of greatest peril our politicians are still capable of rising to the occasion.
Laboring mightily through the night, the best and brightest among us bravely slashed 38 billion dollars in spending from the 2010 budget. Harry Reid called it historic. President Obama proclaimed it the “biggest annual spending cut in history”….so much history being made. Now instead of a 1.2 trillion dollar deficit for 2010, the sword of Damocles has fallen, the Grim Reaper has wielded his scythe, and the great machete of fiscal discipline has been unleashed against the unruly jungle of waste, fraud, and abuse that is Leviathan. Americans awoke this morning to the glorious news that our 2010 deficit is only 1.162 trillion dollars.
If that alone wasn’t cause enough for rejoicing, we can all rest easier in the comforting knowledge that 89% of the employees of the Department of Education who had been designated as “nonessential” will not have to be furloughed. The nonessentials over at Housing and Urban Development, 99% of that workforce, would have missed their paychecks. The 75% nonessential population at the Labor Department would have been told to stop all their laboring had it not been for the Herculean efforts of our elected representatives in Washington.
Although averting major life disruption for our federal workforce is a noble enough outcome, what really causes me to rejoice this fine morning is the great relief I feel knowing what even greater human suffering has been avoided. Now I don’t have to worry about the dead bodies of our senior citizens being thrown in the streets because their nursing homes had to be shut down. I know that millions of women will now not die because they couldn’t get proper cancer screenings. Millions upon millions of our children will not starve to death because their school lunches had to be taken from them. We are now all free to visit our national parks, the valiant workers at Planned Parenthood can keep helping Americans avoid parenthood, and best of all, the diligent tax collectors at the IRS won’t have to stop auditing our returns.
There are always nay-sayers among us, those who will point out that a 38 billion dollar cut in a 3.69 trillion dollar budget is worse than a drop in the bucket, that its hardly worth talking about much less all the dire warnings of economic collapse and histrionics that it has produced. But I say…the longest journey in the world begins with a single step, and we have taken that step. At least we didn’t trip on a rock, fall flat on our face, have to be ambulanced to the hospital for an emergency nose job that we find out later isn’t covered under Obamacare. Right?