Vice President Biden and Congressman Ryan went toe to toe last night in the first and only Vice-Presidential Debate. Neither pulled any punches, leaving essentially no room for compromise let alone consensus building. Increasingly in American politics compromise is not even considered as the majority party simply rams through its program. Doing the people’s business and governing for the good of the country seems to be no longer considered by the ruling party unless they have troublesome defectors within their ranks. Defection is rare as it is an uncompromising form of political suicide.
Consensus building on the other hand requires even more effort than compromise. Majority parties approach consensus building even less often that compromise. The Majority just tries to ram it down the minority party’s throat.
Neither Vice President Biden nor Congressman Ryan said anything to make viewer’s believe that new political approaches might be taken in the future. All this was notwithstanding the the difficult economic times the country faces. The rate of economic growth is low and declining. The economy grows less and less rapidly, and with 21 million out of work or working part time or for low to exceptionally low wages people have relatively low levels of discretionary spending. An equally large segment of the population spends less as they are helping to prop up those out of work or those with far less discretionary income noted above. Meanwhile the Federal Reserve Bank props up the upper class and the government with its quantitative easing program. The Federal Reserve Bank buys U.S. treasuries in large quantity thus driving down the interest rates on these notes issued by the government to finance the rapidly escalating national debt. This also drives investors away from treasuries and into the stock market and artificially props up the value of equities (stocks). This has an inflationary effect but also reduces the strong deflationary pressures that are technically associated with the strongly reduced consumption rates by the relatively large fraction of American families with substantially reduced wages or who have far less discretionary funds due to running their own assistance programs within the family. Neither political party seems to understand the danger of this continuing activity by the Federal Reserve Bank. But the bank is doing it’s best within a political vacuum. At the moment it seems to be our only means of addressing increasingly difficult economic issues. That is because the Congress has been irresponsible in dealing with, or managing, the difficult issue of imbalances in the national budget.