The Richmond Register

Viewpoints

October 19, 2013

Check politics at door, please

FRANKFORT — “Who steals my purse steals trash; ’tis something, nothing; ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands: But he that filches from me my good name robs me of that which not enriches him and makes me poor indeed.”

– Iago in Shakespeare’s “Othello”

Alright, if you were responsible for a 600-word weekly political column where would you begin after the circus of the last three weeks?

How about with President Barack Obama’s statement that there are no winners? I can’t think of any.

I see plenty of losers, starting with us. We deserve better government, but this is the government we’ve chosen.

The people who were prepared to default on the nation’s debt are entirely reckless. Their irresponsibility ranks alongside that of the Democrats of the 1850s who were willing to tear the nation asunder and did.

No one knows for sure ? because we’ve never been there ? whether the economic implications would have been as horrific as every reputable economist predicted.

But why would we risk that by placing our faith in the economic expertise of people like Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert, Sen. Ted Cruz or a Kentucky ophthalmologist over the world’s leading economic experts who predicted our home mortgage rates and unemployment would soar and the economy might collapse on top of all of us?

Why risk American honor?

What really astonishes me is that the people who talk about “American exceptionalism” would cavalierly throw away something that truly is exceptional about America: “the full faith and credit of the United States.”

That not only means that U.S. treasury bonds are seen by the world’s investors as the safest bet on the planet, it also says something about the honor of America.

One place on earth is seen by all the other places on earth as absolutely trustworthy.

So long as that reputation is intact, it pretty much guarantees we will fare better than the rest of the world economically. That is truly exceptional – and those who criticize as un-American anyone who disagrees with them would just toss that into the trash.

How mad would it be to negotiate that away? Thankfully we didn’t.

Kentucky’s other Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell deserves some credit for that. There is much to appreciate in McConnell’s ability to step in and avoid disaster at the last minute. But frankly, it would have been even more appreciated had he done it three weeks earlier. “Leader” should mean more than just a title.

But the sad fact is that no other Republican was apparently willing or capable of averting the disaster, and McConnell did.

Give him credit, too, for some political courage while facing challenges from Matt Bevin and Alison Lundergan Grimes back home. No matter what he did, he was going to be criticized by one side or the other, and in the end, he was by both.

Now they say they will negotiate a longer-term deal on the budget and deficit.

God help them to see that each side must give and face some mathematical realities.

Democrats must understand changes have to be made to entitlements.

Republicans must understand and concede that tax rates are historically low in the post-war era, and because of tax loopholes most in the 35 percent tax bracket actually pay an effective rate of only about 20 percent.

Make sensible but reasonable changes to entitlements.

Close loopholes but leave tax rates as they are. Leave the politics at the door for a change, and do what they know is right, even if it means talking straight to voters

That truly would be exceptional. Honorable, too.

Ronnie Ellis writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ cnhifrankfort.

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Education a priority? Don’t believe it

    They did it – more or less.

    They got a budget, they got a road plan and they got out of town on time.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don McNay.jpg Did you miss small business health-care tax credit?

    A Kentucky professional who owns his own business found that he missed getting the health-care tax credit.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg Compromise is not that simple

    It’s tempting for a casual onlooker to wonder why the Democratic House and Republican Senate can’t make what on the surface looks like the obvious compromise on pension reform.
    The Senate passed a measure based on recommendations of a task force to move new employees into a hybrid, cash-balance plan but maintain existing defined benefits for current employees and retirees.

    March 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG Frankfort plays ping-pong with public pension transparency

    Legislation that would make the Kentucky Retirement Systems transparent for those paying its bills has danced into the spotlight during the 2014 session of the Kentucky General Assembly.
    Passage of transparency bills filed by Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Latonia, and Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, would make the “names, status, projected or actual benefit payments” subject to our commonwealth’s superlative Open Records Act.

    March 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jack Strauss-BW.jpg The case of the ghostly neighbor

    Wilbur lived in a world of fears. Everything frightened him. The full extent of his courage was to admit that he had none.
    Noises in the middle of the night, his own shadow creeping up on him and, most of all, black cats scared the wits out of him.
    So, picture his chagrin, one day, when he came home from vacation only to discover that a mausoleum had been erected on property adjacent to his home.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Provisional concealed-carry law passes Senate unanimously

    Things are staying busy in Frankfort. Many bills are making their way onto the Senate floor from various committees. This past week several important pieces of legislation were debated and passed.
    I am particularly proud of the success we had in advocating for Kentuckians’ Second Amendment rights.
    I introduced Senate Bill 106 to allow anyone who has been granted an emergency protective or domestic violence order to receive a provisional CCDW permit from the Kentucky State Police in one business day. In some of these cases, victims need this type of protection as quickly as possible.

    March 8, 2014

  • Ronnie-Ellis.jpg 50 years makes a world of difference

    I wasn’t in Frankfort on March 5, 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and Jackie Robinson led 10,000 on a march to the state Capitol in support of a public accommodations law.
    But a few months later, I stood in front of the “Music Hall,” site of the Glasgow Junior High School located on a street named Liberty, and watched black kids “walk up the hill” of College Street on the first day of integrated schools in Glasgow.

    March 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 02.23 Mike Duncan mug.jpg Coal has kept Kentuckians warm this winter

    This winter, temperatures across the country dipped to historic lows. Here in our home state of Kentucky, the near-arctic climate caused increased power demand which resulted in an incredible strain on the electric grid and rising energy costs.

    March 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jim Waters.JPG Protecting citizens’ data is a no-brainer

    Target Corp. is learning the hard way: The price is steep for retailers who don’t protect customers’ sensitive financial information.
    Target’s profits fell a whopping 50 percent during its fourth quarter of 2013 as the result of a massive security breach involving as many as 110 million of its customers’ credit- and debit-card accounts, which began the day before Thanksgiving and extended throughout much of the holiday shopping season.

    March 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ike Adams Making plans for spring planting

    My brother Keith (Keeter) probably planted peas on one of those warm days last week, and I would not be at all surprised to find out that brother Steve did likewise to try to be the first two fellows in Letcher County to actually be digging the soil in their 2014 gardens.
    Keeter’s father-in-law, the late Dock Mitchell, used to get my brother to drive him a 50-mile round trip to get pea seeds and potting soil for early February planting. Dock raised mammoth melting sugar snow peas and sugar snaps around every fence on the place. 

    February 27, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Should Richmond rezone the southwest corner of Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue to B-1 (Neighborhood Business) with restrictions to allow construction of a financial services office?

Yes
No
     View Results