Pat Piper has made a career learning something new. As a journalist in the news business, “something new” occurs every hour so he’s becoming an expert at understanding stuff he never thought about. Learning became a common word in “Future Talk: Conversations About Tomorrow” (Warner Books), the popular book he ghostwrote with Larry King as […]

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    [October 10, 2013]

    By on February 12, 2014 in See It Here, The Way I See It, Writing

    We have countdown clocks running and we have calendars noting how many seconds, hours, and days since the partial shutdown of the United States government began. Fingers have been pointed non stop as to who’s to blame and everyday brings a new news conference from either the White House or Capitol Hill saying “we need to negotiate.”

    With one week before the United States facing a possible default on paying bills from the past fiscal year (i.e. the debt ceiling) for the first time in 247 years, members of both political parties are having talks at the White House. The sad thing is we now call this “progress,” when common sense suggests it could have been done all along.

    One thing I’ve learned living in Washington DC is Congress waits for the last possible moment to do what it could have done from Day One. It’s part of the way we do things because waiting allows one side to give in as a result of the threat of what could happen a few seconds later.

    This time is different though.

    Some in Congress say the October 17 deadline when the Unted States runs out of its ability to pay bills really isn’t October 17, but sometime later–though no set date is ever provided by these economic experts. In other words, the debt limit is really a lot of hooey and we’re all victims of scare tactics by the White House.

    When I grew up in Indiana, my father would say “being dumb is OK as long as you learn from all the mistakes that being dumb puts in front of you.” Today, however, being dumb is more serious. Now we look at common sense and say, “it’s not really common sense.”

    Congress has an approval rating of 5%. That shows hope for the United States.

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