The trouble with making "functional" government the great
aspiration of the American experiment -- as so many pundits and
politicians now do -- is that a smoothly operating Congress is not
necessarily moral, humane or even economically smart.
It is important to remember this disconnect as we consider the budget deal announced late
Tuesday by House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and
Senate Budget Committee chairman Patty Murray, D-Washington.
“This agreement breaks through the recent dysfunction to prevent
another government shutdown and roll back sequestration’s cuts to
defense and domestic investments in a balanced way,” said Murray. “It’s
a good step in the right direction that can hopefully rebuild some
trust and serve as a foundation for continued bipartisan work.”
Ryan was equally self-congratulatory, declaring that -- after a fall
the saw a government shutdown, nasty wrangling over the historically
uncontroversial task of raising the debt ceiling and general
congressional dysfunction – he and Murray had achieved “a clear improvement on the status quo.”