The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

December 8, 2012

Sliding toward the fiscal cliff in ‘Bizarro World’

ENID, Okla. — In October 1958, DC Comics introduced a new character to the paper-and-ink universe populated by Superman, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen.

His name was Bizarro. Though he wore a costume and cape similar to Superman’s and possessed similar super powers, he was the Man of Steel’s moral and intellectual exact opposite.

His home was Htrae (Earth spelled backwards), better known as “Bizarro World.”

In “Bizarro World,” worthless items were considered valuable, stupidity was prized over intelligence, cowardice over bravery, ugliness over beauty.

“Bizarro World” is ruled by the Bizarro Code, which states, in part, “Us do opposite of all Earthly things. Us hate beauty. Us love ugliness.”

In one storyline, a salesman sells Bizarro Bonds using the sales pitch “Guaranteed to lose money for you.”

It seems “Bizarro World” has transcended the pages of comic books and is here, now. Perhaps you know it better as Washington, D.C.

The U.S. economy is still clawing its way out of the deep recession into which it plunged in 2008.

America’s housing market seems to have bottomed out, with home prices rising in September — the sixth straight month of growth.

The unemployment rate has dropped below 8 percent, falling to 7.7 percent according to a report issued Friday by the Labor Department. That’s the lowest rate since December 2008. The U.S. economy added 146,000 jobs in November, the report said.

Mind you, no one has yet broken into a chorus of “Happy Days Are Here Again.” America’s economy still faces challenges. But overall the news is positive.

So the economy is getting well, slowly but surely, so Congress and the president seem determined to make it sick again.

With just 22 days left in the year, Congress and the president continue to play a high-stakes game of chicken over the coming storm known as the “fiscal cliff.”

If an agreement isn’t reached in time, everyone’s taxes will go up Jan. 1 and government spending will be drastically cut.

That will cause unemployment to soar and send the economy reeling back into recession.

Why? Because our elected officials seem more loyal to factions within their respective parties than to their constituents.

“Us hate beauty, us love ugliness.” Bizzaro Congress and Bizzaro president apparently also love financial misery.

In our fair state, it is estimated we will lose as many as 8,000 jobs in the aerospace and defense industries, not to mention the trickle-down effect on ancillary businesses.

The president, still basking in the glow of his re-election, thinks he has the political strength to force Republicans in Congress to accede to his will.

The GOP, in turn, still thinks it has the upper hand because of its majority in the House of Representatives.

So we are all on a big sled, picking up speed as we slide down a snowy slope, gliding at first, but steadily increasing our pace. Directly ahead is a precipitous drop-off, a yawning chasm leading to God knows what below. To the left and right are open fields where we could safely glide to a halt.

In the driver’s seat, two figures wrestle for control, first turning left, then back right, finally reaching a stalemate, causing the sled to speed straight down the hill, directly toward looming disaster.

Speaking of “Bizarro World,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid comparing the Republicans’ lack of leadership on the fiscal cliff question to the New York Jets’ inability to settle on a starting quarterback. House Speaker John Boehner blames the president. A pox on both sides.

The president’s approval rating is up since the election, to 57 percent, but members of Congress are rated just above car salesmen in a recent Gallup poll ranking professions in terms of honesty and ethics.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed give Congress low or very low marks for honesty and ethics.

Heck, even journalists get better marks than Congress. We ink-stained wretches rank 10 slots above senators and congressmen.

Both sides need to give a little, to work together, to compromise, which seems a dirty word in Washington these days. Make a deal, steer us clear of the economic abyss prepared to swallow us up if both sides continue putting politics ahead of the American people.

If “Bizarro World” prevails, and the nation indeed plunges off the fiscal cliff, voters should resolve to take their anger with them into the booth in 2014 and 2016, using the ballot to smite both sides involved in this whole, sorry mess.

Mullin is senior writer of the News & Eagle. Email him at jmullin@enidnews.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg David, Goliath at it again in Gaza Strip

    Israel has long seen itself as David, standing firm against a hostile neighborhood full of Goliaths.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS must come up with future plans for NORCE, SORC facilities after they are closed

    NORCE is scheduled to close in August 2015. Currently, 15 residents remain at the facility, awaiting transfer to a private setting, and there also are 60 state employees on the NORCE payroll.

    July 24, 2014

  • Never leave a child or a pet alone in a car

    With temperatures soaring to near or above 100, parents need to know they can’t leave their children alone in a locked vehicle. In 10 minutes, a vehicle’s temperature can climb 19 degrees. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and it only takes a few minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated, according to Safe Kids USA.

    July 23, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-24-2014

    I am beginning to believe that Mellon is the poorest Treasurer we ever had. I would like to be Treasurer. Here would be my policy, and you see if it wouldn’t be the best thing for America:
    Save nothing, have nothing in there. Then Congress and the entire nation could have nothing in view only what they made themselves.
    A Candidate.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads