, Corbin, KY


October 21, 2013

Check politics at door, please

CORBIN — “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 ago. “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 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, Ky. He may be contacted by email at Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at

Text Only
  • LIKE IT OR NOT: MLB's All Star effort was a bust

    With the 85th edition of Major League Baseball’s All-Star game in the books, I have to say I feel like the whole thing was a complete bust.

    July 18, 2014

  • THE WAY IT IS: Some local teams can make a run

    Well folks, our Little League All-Star action is beginning to wind down, and I’ve been fortunate enough to see two of the Tri-County’s resp

    July 17, 2014

  • LIKE IT OR NOT: It's been a very busy summer

    While a lot of people would expect the local sports scene to slow down in the Tri-County in the summer time, that’s not usually the case for us here at the Times-Tribune.

    July 16, 2014

  • John Ross.jpg May we all cherish those few WWII vets who still live

    I watch this old BBC program pretty often called “Are You Being Served?” It’s mostly out of syndication — what shows remain can be seen most often through PBS.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0502 Bobbie Poynter So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu

    I never have been very good at saying goodbye — family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, community — for years you’ve had my back and in turn, I believe I’ve had yours.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ronnie Ellis.jpg ‘Uh hummm!’ It’s been an interesting week

    One column can’t cover everything from a busy week of political events, but here are some quick takeaways from last week.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brad Hall.jpg Let’s multiply our numbers like fleas do

    Last Saturday, my wife, Carmen, and I spent the day at the Kings Island theme park near Cincinnati, Ohio.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Burkhart.jpg Not an earthly trace

    Just married (1897) and in his late 20’s, my grandfather was determined to make a living on a hillside farm covered in wilderness; much as his father had done before him in 1846  when he arrived from Germany.

    July 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brad Hall.jpg Col. Mustard with the candlestick in Heaven

    One of my favorite movies is the murder mystery comedy “Clue,” which is based on the popular board game of the same name.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Burkhart.jpg Now or Never

    A story is told of an old widower who decided it was time to find a new wife. He chose to look for this new bride through the obituaries column; identifying new widows.

    June 30, 2014 1 Photo

Front page
Featured Ads
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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