January 12, 2012

From The Hill: Congress Should Abandon the 'Quick Fix'

Matthew D. Mitchell

Affiliated Senior Scholar

“American progress is driven by clever ideas, but in our nation’s capital, this idiom has been turned on its head: politicians with clever ideas often stand in the way of genuine progress. It doesn’t matter how many points there are to a presidential candidate’s jobs plan. Real economic recovery will come from a fundamental change in how our leaders think and operate, and that means abandoning the quick-fix mentality.

“In a strange new ritual, Washington routinely grinds to a halt to deal with some crisis or another. One moment it’s a looming tax hike, the next a government shutdown. One week it’s a threatened default on our national debt; the next it’s triggered sequesters or benefit cuts.

“The common thread in these episodes: a politician with a quick fix. Each aims to address our government’s fiscal problems without significant policy reform or sacrifice by any American (voter). And, ironically, though each was designed to avoid short-term economic pain, the gimmicks have only deepened our fiscal hole and made genuine economic recovery less likely. The parade of clever ideas has ensnared Washington in a never-ending cycle of self-inflicted crises and hyped-up doomsday deadlines. ‘Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.’”

To read the complete op-ed, please visit The Hill.