On this Christmas day, by golly—a time of wonderment for children, good cheer for families, and the inevitable wishes for an even better New Year—the staff of The Fiscal Times offers a list of our 12 biggest political wishes for the coming year, one for every day of Christmas. Actually, we had 13, but one already has been mercifully granted with the departure of Congress and President Obama from Washington for the holiday break.
So here are our dozen other wishes for 2014:
- We wish that President Obama would stop calling everyone “folks.” Granted, the word makes him sound like he’s a salt-of-the-earth guy, rather than a Nobel laureate and the nation’s chief executive and Commander-in-Chief. But Obama uses “folks” so frequently that it applies to anyone and everyone--not just the customers at a small-town Iowa diner, but Wall Street bankers, terrorists, his Republican enemies and consumers struggling to enroll in Obamacare.
- We fervently wish that House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) continues to display his new-found conviction by standing up to wild-eyed radical House members and outside conservative action groups who revel in transforming every budgetary twist into another fiscal crisis. But that may be asking too much.
- We wish that Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the Tea Party favorite and a 2016 GOP presidential aspirant, would wipe that smirk off his face.
- Hillary Clinton: We wish you would just announce already. You’re not fooling anybody, and if you really cared about the greater good you’d spare us a year’s worth of thumb-sucking articles by political reporters about your “potential” candidacy.
- We wish Gov. Chris Christie would stop cozying up to the legion of New Jersey state contractors and utility executives that used back-door tactics to funnel $1.7 million into Christie’s reelection campaign and who can be counted on to bolster his all-but-certain bid for the GOP presidential nomination in two years.
- Obamacare partisans (both sides): We really wish you would stop using anecdotes to make your points about the health care program. What happened to Phil in Tulsa or Janet in Spokane may be compelling to you, but it tells us precious little about the law’s overall effect. New rule: if you use a citizen’s first name in your argument, you automatically lose.
- Edward Snowden: We wish you would make up your mind. Beard or no beard? Pick one. The Miami Vice thing isn’t working.
- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: We wish you would loosen up a little. On the access, that is. President Obama once promised an administration with unprecedented transparency. As of now, White House reporters and photographers compare your operation unfavorably with TASS, the repressive press agency in the former Soviet Union.
- Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander: We wish you would put up or shut up. You keep telling the public how you’ve used your massive surveillance programs to keep us safe. Problem is, many members of Congress, as well as an intelligence-friendly blue-ribbon panel assembled by the White House, don’t seem to believe you. Oh, and a federal judge thinks what you do is unconstitutional. Either let the public understand what you’re doing, or surrender the right to protest when Congress does it for you.
- Former half-term Alaska governor Sarah Palin: With the Duck Dynasty patriarch on suspension, we wish A & E would give you a shot at the top spot on the show. Not because we’d watch, but because a reality TV show of your own could keep you away from Facebook and Fox News and all things politics.
- Janet Yellen: We wish you would keep the Federal Reserve Board transparency coming. Under your soon-to-be predecessor, Ben Bernanke, the Fed was transformed from an institution whose leader actively tried to confuse the public about the Fed’s intentions to a model of central bank forthrightness. More transparency, please.
- We wish that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services would use better hold music during their telephone press call briefings on the status of HealthCare.gov.