BILL CRAWFORD: All of 'em stuck it to us

By Bill Crawford

Don’t trust ‘em. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. When it comes to government, politicians, and their supporting casts, don’t trust ‘em.
Ironically, the U.S. government tells you that every day. Pull out your Patriot’s Bible and you’ll see it in big, bold letters.
Oh, I nearly forgot. The National Assessment of Educational Progress reported last week that our students aren’t learning very much American history. Guess I shouldn’t expect readers to fare any better. Except for Boy Scouts. They learn the important history depicted on the Patriot’s Bible … the U.S. one dollar bill. George Washington, the Great Seal of the United States, the national motto … that stuff.
Yep, nearly all of us walk around every day with precious history right in our pockets or purses. Maybe we ought to un-wad one and give it some serious thought.
You see, centered right there on the back it says something important. Clergy and citizens got government to put this saying on money way back in 1864, but it wasn’t until 1956 that we assured its importance and made it our official motto.
In God We Trust, it says. Not government … not politicians … not the money and organizations behind government and politicians … GOD.
The hypocritical ranting about the national debt, deficit and debt ceiling lead me to this discourse.
A few facts, if you will, courtesy of USA Today.
In 1981, the national debt was still less than $1 trillion.
Under Reagan it tripled to nearly $3 trillion.
Under Bush-41 it topped $4 trillion.
Under Clinton it hit $5.7 trillion.
Under Bush-42 it topped $10 trillion.
Under Obama it hit $14.3 trillion.
Yep, all of ‘em stuck it to us. But, we’re pretending it’s a new problem and all Obama’s fault. Where were McConnell and Boehner during Bush-42′s terms? Uh huh.
The despicable thing from all this is the apparent willingness of both parties to risk the “full faith and credit” of the United States to gain political advantage. Failure to raise the debt ceiling will play havoc with our credit rating, our local and national economies and our role as a reliable world leader.
Yes, we need to rein in spending.
But, we also need to pay our bills and maintain faith with our creditors.
A year ago House Speaker John Boehner seemed to have a grip on the problem, saying, “We’re going to have to deal with it as adults.”
He doesn’t say that any more.
Maybe it’s not just students who need to learn some American history. Maybe when congressmen swear to uphold the Constitution they should have to swear they know it resulted from compromise, not righteous brinksmanship.
God save us from righteous politicians.

Bill Crawford (crawfolk@gmail.com) is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.