Valley News -

Congress fiddles while US burns


Last updated 4/6/2019 at 5:42pm

Jane Chastain

Special to Anza Valley Outlook

Legend has it that the Emperor Nero played the fiddle while the ancient city of Rome burned for six days, destroying 70 percent of the city and leaving half of its population homeless.

While it is unlikely this actually happened given that the violin hadn’t been invented yet, it is true that he was an unpopular, evil, ineffectual leader in a time of crisis. Some believe he actually started the fire because he used the opportunity to build a magnificent palace surrounded by lush gardens for himself on the land that had been cleared by the blaze.

Now it’s Congress that is fiddling around while the country is facing, not one, but two crisis. The first issue is our national debt that has reached a staggering $22 trillion, with no real plan for relief in sight.

So who owns the nation’s debt? The largest portion is owned by our trust funds, like Social Security, Office of Personal Management Retirement and the Military Retirement. It’s called “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” At some point Peter is going to wind up on the short end of the stick or our children and grandchildren are going to wind up paying for our excess. Just how much more of a tax burden can your children bear? Currently the share of this debt for each individual living in the U.S. is $41,000.

The Bible warns people that the borrower will be a slave to the lender. Forty-two percent of this debt is owned by foreign governments and investors with China, a communist country, holding the largest portion. This debt, too, does not bode well for our children.

The second crisis is at the border where the nation can no longer hold back those crossing illegally. Border Patrol is forced to release those they do catch into the country, where they are never to be seen again, because they have no more facilities to hold them. The Democrats have told the people there is no crisis, so I have a question for each of them? Last month agents arrested 66,000 people attempting to cross illegally and that doesn’t account for the thousands who simply slipped through undetected, so how many would constitute a crisis? Just give me a figure.

According to the latest polls, some 160 million people want to come to the U.S.? Should the nation accept all 160 million with no questions asked, no qualifications and no screening whatsoever? Isn’t that what you have been fighting for?

If you don’t believe the president, believe Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Chief Ronald Vitiello who is urging Congress to pass laws that would end the crisis, starting with one that would simply end the 20-day limit on family detentions. Seriously, how long would that take?

If you don’t believe Vitiello, believe former President Barack Obama’s Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan who said this is “absolutely a national emergency.”

This second crisis is not unrelated to the first. The Center for Immigration Studies in-depth analysis estimated that every illegal immigrant will cost the U.S. over $82,191. So how much of this debt are you willing to pass on to your children? Visit and read an article on the topic by Steve Camarota of the Center for Immigration Studies.

Congress is indeed fiddling while the U.S. burns through red ink, manpower, lost jobs and wages, not to mention the very real human toll. These inept, uncaring lawmakers won’t do anything because the people don’t demand it.

This week, the House actually spent its valuable time trying to override the president’s declaration of a border emergency. In addition, it will spend time on a resolution disapproving he ban on transgenders in the military. Last, but not least, is the Paycheck Fairness Act which Democrats reintroduced this year for the 11th time. It’s a burdensome feminist notion straining to prove that the disparity in the wages of men and women is a result of discrimination instead of choices made in the workplace.

Not to be outdone, the Senate wasted its precious time trying to get a vote on the Green New Deal in an effort to put Democrats who support it on record. Democrats, of course, voted against allowing it to come to the floor because that’s the way our dysfunctional Senate works. However, the Senate will manage to vote on a supplemental bill for national emergencies without any offsets because that is what our lawmakers do best. What’s another $12 billion outside the normal appropriations process to these scoundrels who represent us?

Nothing of importance will get done in the 116th Congress. It will continue to fiddle while it burns through money at a rapid rate.

Meanwhile the press will do its own fiddling by continuing to debate the Muller report, and the public will be none the wiser.

Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Chastain always will be remembered as the nation’s first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Chastain blogs at


Reader Comments


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019