The debt ceiling and dog poop

The debt ceiling kerfuffle has been settled and as far as I can tell it was a pyrrhic victory at best. I started out paying close attention to the discussion, but as the rhetoric ramped up I got more and more anxious until I decided I had to stop listening. My plan was to put my fingers in my ears and whistle until someone told me that fiscal disaster had been averted, but that turned out to be as uncomfortable a solution as everything John Boehner proposed.

I’m not particularly savvy about how things get done on Capitol Hill. Oh sure, I watched the Schoolhouse Rock lesson on how a bill gets through Congress with the rest of my generation, but I must have missed the episode about applying common sense for the greater good. There were steps to take to lower the national debt that seemed liked no-brainers to me. Yes they involved raising revenue: corporations should not be getting ridiculous tax breaks so they can operate private jets and rich individuals should pay more taxes than lower-income folks. That would be applying common sense to solve a problem.

My town email list just had a vigorous debate on dog poop disposal etiquette. A list member posted that she had been chastised by a passerby for dropping a bag of dog poop in a garbage can in front of someone else’s home. Alarmingly, this post provoked more traffic than the subject of whether or not to out local sex offenders. Some people thought it was perfectly fine to use a private trash can for your dog’s poop. There were those who thought it was beyond the pale for the passerby to have commented in the first place claiming it was none of her business. There was even debate over whether the position of the lid of the garbage can should effect one’s decision. There was, however, one positive aspect to this discussion; it didn’t follow party lines. It wasn’t dog owners versus non-dog owners. It was a bi-partisan debate.

Nonetheless, I find myself asking ─ why was this even being discussed? It is not alright to put your trash in my trashcan. Period. Does something that reeks of common sense need to be legislated for the odd bozo who just doesn’t understand? Come on everyone, sing along with me:

I’m just a bill.
Yes, I’m only a bill.
And I’m sitting here on Capitol Hill.
Well, it’s a long, long journey
To the capital city.
It’s a long, long wait
While I’m sitting in committee,
But I know I’ll be a law someday
At least I hope and pray that I will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Music & lyrics: Dave Frishberg


5 responses to “The debt ceiling and dog poop

  1. Brilliant juxtaposition of dog poop with the debt ceiling bill.

  2. And I always thought that trash, once put out to the curb, passed into public domain, and was available for addition or subtraction as passerby’s saw fit, as long as no mess was made. Trash subtraction is common practice in Andover. I don’t know if that is a Dem or Rep view of refuse.

    I wonder what the founders would think?

    PS. “reeks of common sense” 😉

    • Trash subtraction is something I approve of, when said trash is not in the garbage can. Scavenging on trash night is a respectable past time and it’s common in my neighborhood. If it’s in the trash can, however, I expect it to stay there.

  3. Judy–you’ve opened a can of worms, so to speak. Of course you should not put your trash in my trashcan, and vice versa. But are the locals talking about solutions to the problem, and not just kvetching? In foreign countries to which we’ve traveled, there are special, designated places for dispensing plastic bags and for depositing dog poop, and people seem to use them. These aren’t ugly; they look a bit like mail boxes. They’re common along walking paths and near beaches. Seems like an idea worth pursuing.

    • I think some of the parks here have plastic bag dispensers too, but no, they’re not trying to solve the problem. They just love a good session of point/counter-point.

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