John Teichert, Candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland
We are approaching another self-induced crisis at the end of this week that vividly demonstrates the dearth of leadership in Washington, D.C. We have been rubbernecking at the looming disaster for the past six weeks, seemingly oblivious to the lurking danger of a government shutdown whose countdown clock was started when the president and Congress last abdicated their Constitutional responsibility to pass a budget in late September. Our dysfunction is harming our citizens, hurting our country, and hacking away as our credibility.
Simply mentioning a government shutdown sends ripples of anxiety throughout our society, and I’ve seen the chaos first hand as a two-time military base commander. It is an existential threat to those who serve our nation whileliving paycheck-to-paycheck, especially for our military members, their families, and the communities in which they live. It is also true for our federal workforce, their families, and their communities, and is a particularly acute concern for the great state of Maryland where over 10% of our households rely on paychecks from those serving in federal positions. Additionally, a chronic series of government shutdowns and continuing resolutions cripples our ability to properly provide for our national security. It invites aggression from our adversaries who thrive on our weakness.
It may also be the tipping point for our fragile economy as Americans continue to struggle through choking inflation, high taxes, and governmental overreach in spite of the hollow promises of “Bidenomics.” Over 70% of our small business owners express serious concern about the impact of a shutdown, creating a real impact that would hinder the flow of the lifeblood of America’s economic activity and employment, likely tipping us into a recession.
Ironically, our politicians’ insatiable appetite for spending money we don’t have is actually doubling down on its impact on the debt. Not only are deficits adding dump trucks of money to the debt that is harmfully and unfairly burdening our future generations, but out lack of budgetary and political discipline is causing the interest rates on that debt to increase. The interest payments on the debt are approaching one trillion dollars a year, suffocating our ability to afford discretionary budget items and entitlement promises. Dismayed by our irresponsibility, two of the credit rating agencies have downgraded investments in our debt or the outlook of those investments. It is a stark reminder that thecredibility of our system is at stake and that we are quickly and recklessly approaching a point of no return and no recovery.
We need congressional and presidential leadership to solve these pressing problems characterized by an addiction to spending and an abdication of responsibility. We must not settle for near misses and band aid solutions. The American people must insist on ceasing the harmful political charades and demand leadership that is selfless, productive, sustainable, responsive, unifying, and inspirational.