I voted for the first time ever 4 days ago. (I will not say who I voted for but I am sure anyone could guess after reading my articles) I enjoyed it and am glad I did my civic duty. Many others voted too, and ultimately the political landscape did not budge. The Senate and Presidency are still controlled by Democrats and the House by Republicans. It seems we are further doomed as a nation to permanent gridlock between the two political parties. It seems again the American people will be sacrificed on the altar of politics. Politics in DC is still the same, and ain't changing anytime soon. It seems to me, that if Americans want America to be prosperous again, they are going to have to do it WITHOUT capitol hill, without the President, without the government.
The Republicans and Democrats say they will cooperate, however we will see. They stupidly set us up for the "fiscal cliff" without any certainty that they will be able to fix it. Congress passed the Budget Control Act in 2011, believing it would force them to make haste, but nooooooo. Republicans decided, "Lets just hope that we kick Obama out then we can do what we want." Meanwhile Democrats decided it would be better to hold off any unpopular decision like raising taxes till after the election. However, as a result they now have no time to negotiate. They are running around like turkeys with their heads cutoff. Unfortunately they are very ideological turkeys too, who both believe the other is so sinister that they cannot be trusted to honor any deal.
Now that we are in the unenviable position of having to deal with a fiscal cliff thats just a few months away with a gridlocked partisan congress, both parties somehow have to find common ground...what common ground!? There is none! Both parties simply want the opposite of the other. Democrats-cut the military. Republicans-increase the military. Democrats-increase social programs. Republicans-cut social programs. Democrats-raise taxes. Republicans-cut taxes. Perhaps they can simply agree to disagree and compromise, but they couldn't do it the last 4 years, how are they going to do it in 2 months!?
In the process their bickering has cost the nation. Business are scared to death. The debt is growing out of control with no end in sight. Republicans scared businesses by holding the debt ceiling hostage as a political tool. President Obama seems determined to make businesses feel as uncomfortable here as possible, and left every business worrying about the unforeseen and unpredictable effects of Obamacare on their bottom lines. And now, to top it off, lets throw a fiscal cliff in front of us to chill American businesses into frosty submission again. They might as well had thrown a hurricane at New York (oh wait, that did happen). It seems our government, tearing itself to pieces, has determined to bring our economy down with it. It seems both parties see defeating the other as more vital than making sure our economy gets back on track. (Its no wonder Obamacare does not get implemented until 2014, after Obama has been reelected, therefore ensuring that if it goes south Obama will not have to pay for it.)
All I can say is that hopefully both parties realize they must cooperate if they wish to get America back on track. Growth is still anemic and nowhere near what it needs to be to get employment and income back to pre-recession levels. (Yes, our unemployment is going down, but largely because people are dropping out of the workforce. Unemployment simply measures those actively looking for work. Labor force participation looks at percentage of Americans working.) Everything is getting more expensive, while our incomes barely rise. Check this article out by the New York Times, Median income is still lower than it was before the recession. Indeed the recovery has been alright for top earners but middle income and low income have experienced little recovery at all. So much for Obama being the champion of the middle class with his policies eh?