You can learn a great deal by listening carefully to your opponents. As the "grand bargain" makes its way into the law of the land, the debt ceiling compromise offers something for everyone to oppose.
I have listened carefully to the progressive caucus members of Congress. And with their outspoken disdain of this credit deal, I tend to think it may be something I could embrace.
But first blush opinions are not always right. In short, I assume the nation dodged a bullet by agreeing to do little to nothing on our debt crisis. So we'll continue to spend money we don't have on programs we don't need.
If this is compromise, then who needs it?
The agreement that was finally reached does nothing to address our spending obsession. A spending cut to Congress is really a reduction in spending increases. We'll still spend an amazing amount of money more than we have. But we'll spend it at a lower rate.
Since we always keep score in the world of politics, let's examine who won and who lost in this historic debate.
The winners? There were none.
The losers? The American taxpayers who go to work each day trying desperately to keep their head above water will continue to face the prospect of diminished control over their hard-earned dollar.
But the biggest loser of all is the American political system. The "Washington way" may not be completely broken but it's in serious need of repair. And this protracted circus over our spiraling debt is the best illustration of that miserable state of affairs.
Let's return briefly to revisit the highly-touted Bowles-Simpson group formed last year to address the identical issues on our debt, taxes and spending.
That group - like it or not - outlined some substantial changes that could form the foundation for some real reform. But because this committee touched some sacred cows, their findings were virtually ignored.
So now, we're forming yet another super committee to address the same issues. And the outcome will be identical. You heard it here first!
The Tea Party was formed because a whole lot of people were fed up with the misguided direction in Washington. The focus of the Party was to reduce spending, get our fiscal house in order, reduce the size of government and free up the private sector to grow this nation.
I suspect the majority of Americans support these positions.
It's becoming increasingly apparent that the message has not made its way to Congress yet.