Published On: Fri, Aug 5th, 2011

Ceilings and other political issues

 Editor’s note:  This column was written during the debate about raising the debt ceiling,

 I have always been taught that a popcorn ceiling is in bad taste (and so is a drop ceiling).

 But now it seems that a debt ceiling is even worse. You can’t call in a good handyman (or a contractor) and you can’t find a good decorator to change the height (or color) of it either.

 It seems that the country is mired in a ceiling debacle. Call it ceiling-Armageddon, but this talk about the height of one’s inner domicile is making everyone crazy.

 “We’re going to lose credit ratings and credibility in the eyes of the world,” the doomsayers are yelling. The political landscape is even more dire. The Republicans don’t want to raise the ceiling (maybe it’s bad for their art collections) and the Democrats want to raise the ceiling to fit their needs (perhaps they are a shorter group).

 And regular people are just as perplexed. Some of us are adamant about ceiling limits and others are like me, just sanguine about the whole thing.

 Like a dysfunctional family, everyone is fighting over ceiling height. I don’t know about you, but in my family we fought over things that mattered, like why the chicken is overcooked and why does the kitchen look like a cyclone hit it.

 I say stop all this fighting and bickering and just call in a good contractor. That way everyone can pick the ceiling height they want. Some can have loft ceilings (that are high) others can have drop ceilings (like my mom’s condo) and still others can just take off the ceiling and get a mosquito net.

 Otherwise we’re all going to need the help of Dr. Phil. And with Oprah throwing in the towel, we don’t even have the goddess of goodness to lull us into a faux sense of security (and make us feel loved). So what are we going to do?

 There is one option that seems to be getting gravitas from Washington insiders, and it’s called a clean debt ceiling. I’m not sure what that means (perhaps they called in my cleaning girl Jeannette) but the group “Rebuild the Dream” is sending a message to Congress that they must pass a clean debt ceiling now.”

 Apparently the clean ceiling issue is gaining popularity because Representative Peter Welch just got 139 Democratic representatives to support the cleaner one. I always say that cleanliness is Godliness and you don’t need Dr. Phil to tell you that.

 I’m still not sure why everyone is going bonkers over the current ceiling height – it’s been raised 74 times in the past. Perhaps all the clean-up (and falling plaster) has everyone in a tizzy. You can only raise a ceiling so many times before it starts looking like Joan River’s face.

 But the consequences for not raising the ceiling are getting dire. Money Magazine said, “Ultimately, if lawmakers fail to raise the ceiling this year, they will have two choices, both awful.”

 This is not good for the people, or for the government.  Neither is the fact that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said that if lawmakers don’t get it together by Aug. 2, the United States will no longer be able to pay its bills.

 Mr. Geithner is one smart man. He is right, how can you pay your bills (or watch TV for that matter) if you don’t have a proper ceiling. All you need is one rainy day and everything (including your bills) will get ruined.

 You don’t have to be a member of Congress to figure that out. It’s just a matter of common sense.


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