Politics Are Getting In The Way Of Good Reform… Again

The Tennessee Valley Authority was created in 1933 as one of FDR’s “Alphabet Soup” agencies during the Great Depression. The TVA employed thousands of Americans by building Lock and Dam systems in several states in the southeast.

If I had to pick a New Deal program that I liked, it would definitely be the TVA; it provided me with a beautiful lake to enjoy during Alabama’s long, sultry summers. It also generates cheap (read: subsidized) energy  for millions of southerners in historically impoverished areas. Growing up in and incredibly rural area of northeast Alabama, my family enjoyed lower electricity bills than almost anywhere in the country.

The TVA is also relatively green; there are 29 hydro-electric power plants and 3 nuclear plants, in addition to 11 coal plants.

All of this isn’t cheap (again, with the subsidizing), and in an amusing twist of events, President Obama has suggested selling off the TVA in his recent budget proposal.

Allowing the private sector to work? Shutting down a government agency?! Reducing the deficit by at least $25 billion?!?

What a bold offer of compromise! Republicans must be so happy!

Wrong.

Sticking true to the narrative that ye olde elephants are stubborn hacks who only want to reward their friends and get reelected, many GOP Senators and House members in TVA districts are coming out against the proposal. While this isn’t the first time a sale of the TVA has been proposed, it is the first time it has been proposed by a Democrat President.

GOP, this is (one of the myriad of) reasons that folks are leaving your shrinking tent in droves.

“We’re Fiscal Conservatives!”- unless it’s a budget item that helps our folks.

“We’re so tired of partisan politics, where are your solutions?”- except when it’s someone of the other party coming up with the good ideas

Come on, guys, we’ve started catching on. I pretty much lost all respect for the party system when I started seeing how the goal of so many politicians isn’t about what’s right, but what strengthens their power. Other people are starting to realize it, too, and it makes them what to shirk the labels that they’ve voluntarily pinned on themselves for years, labels that help get you guys reelected.

So, really, cut it out. Start acting on principles, not politics. Strongly held convictions, not plays for power. You go stand in the corner, we’ll be over here hanging out in the cool-kids tent with the libertarians and oh-so-valuable “independents.” We’d love to have you once you’ve thought about what you’ve done.