Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Had Enough? Us Too. It Gets Better, Though.

If you're like most Americans, after five unnecessary budget emergencies in the last two years, and a potential for two more in the next two months, when it comes to talk about our federal budget, most Americans have a good bit of crisis fatigue.

Whether you're talking about those media pundits who have been spreading false equivalency, or you're talking about the average American who simply tuned out of the latest budget squabble, most of America is sick and tired of our elected leaders acting like the child crying wolf for no reason.

There are times when our budgetary crisis fatigue makes us think we'd like to take certain members from both major political parties and shove them off a ledge, into a never-ending pit. Then we remember two important pieces of information.

First, it's only really one of our two major political parties that's the problem. Second, it's that the economy in America is generally getting better, even if cable news channels and other media sources don't always make it seem that way.

Indeed, as journalists Ezra Klein and Jim Tankersley discussed in a forum on Monday, there are some reasons to be optimistic about our American economy, both in the short term and the longer term future.

One big reason for optimism Klein notes, is that health care costs in America are finally slowing, thanks in large part, to the cost savings from Obamacare. It's also true that the housing market is turning around, as we've been noting in our links section, of our expanded edition for a few months.

According to Gallup, monthly U.S. economic confidence matched a five-year high in January of this year. Bloomberg News also noted that business activity had picked up more than expected in February, and Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans now sees the U.S. economy achieving "escape velocity" to serious growth by next year.

It's easy to get discouraged, especially if you - like us - are tied very tightly into the 24/7 media world, and are seeing the news not just for itself, but also through the jaundiced eyes of our Twitter feeds and other forms of social media.

The fact is, the pain, frustration, and sheer contempt that many around the nation - especially in the DC area -  are feeling in reaction to these sequestration cuts and all the other budget battles may have finally driven Republican leaders in Congress to join President Obama in honestly trying to prevent a potential government shutdown at the end of this month.

The fact is, things aren't perfect in America, economically - though they are far, far better than they were four years ago at this time. What's more, the trajectory for the American economy continues to be trending upward, in spite of sequestration - the exact opposite direction our U.S. economy was pointing in 2009.

So, yes - we understand that you're frustrated with our politicians in DC. We are too.

Things are getting better, though - slowly but steadily.

After all, it's not like another member of the Bush family is running for President in 2016... right?