Having just stared deeply into the vast nothingness of the Treasury Department's proposal for averting the metaphorical and self-imposed "fiscal cliff" over which Congress is currently dangling itself, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — laden heavy with despair — found himself bereft of all options save one...
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, says he "burst into laughter" Thursday when Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner outlined the administration proposal for averting the fiscal cliff. He wasn't trying to embarrass Geithner, McConnell says, only responding candidly to his one-sided plan, explicit on tax increases, vague on spending cuts.
Geithner's visit to his office left McConnell discouraged about reaching a "balanced" deal on tax hikes and spending reductions designed to prevent a shock to the economy in January. "Nothing good is happening" in the negotiations, McConnell says, because of Obama's insistence on tax rate hikes for the wealthy but unwillingness to embrace serious spending cuts.
McConnell truly is the Sisyphean hero written of by Arthur Camus so many years ago, hefting the boulder of compromise up, up, up the hill only to watch in disgust as Obama pushes it back down with a simple flick of his thumb. And down McConnell must go to take up the task once again, for the sake of his constituents.
To paraphrase Camus: "The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Mitch McConnell happy."
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Tags: Economy, Mitch McConnell, Senate