The Phillies are smarter than Congress

Dec. 14, 2010 was a day of
extremes. The Philadelphia Phillies pulled off a coup and the U.S. House
Democrats created the type of stink that rhymes with coup.

The Phils have had some bad
teams over the years, and a few good ones. Mostly they were bad ones. They were
so bad that players balked at coming to the Phils.

One case in point was Curt
Flood, an outfielder with the St. Louis Cardinals who was so vehemently against
being traded to the Phils in 1969 that he challenged Major League Baseball’s
reserve clause. That clause bound a player to a team for the length of his
career unless he was traded.

Mr. Flood fought the trade,
eventually taking the case to the Supreme Court. He lost the case, but players
rallied together and the reserve clause became a thing of the past. Free agency
eventually became the norm.

As recently as 1997 there were
still payers who didn’t want to play for Philadelphia. The team drafted JD Drew
that year, but he sat out and re-entered the draft in 1998 when the St. Louis
Cardinals selected him.

But now, people want to play
for the Phillies. Last December they traded for premiere pitcher Roy Halladay.
He wanted to be here and immediately signed a contract extension. And on Dec.
14, they were able to get back fan favorite Cliff Lee who they traded away
after acquiring Halladay. He, too, wanted to play for this franchise. Lee was
so eager to return to Philly that he turned down a better financial offer from
the New York Yankees.

The Phillies have sure changed
how they are perceived because the franchise has started doing the right things.
It wants to win and is willing to do the things necessary to make that happen.
If only the U.S. Congress would follow suit.

Congress can’t throw no-hitters
or win a World Series, but it is supposed to keep the country’s financial house
in order. But too many members of the House can’t get that through their
collectivist heads.

House Republicans struck a
compromise deal with a Democratic president to continue an existing income tax
rate that would otherwise have increased taxes for everyone. The compromise
also has the estate tax going from 0 to 35 percent instead of 50 percent. It
also includes a provision to extend unemployment benefits.

Even though President Obama
accepts the compromise as valuable, there are House Democrats who don’t. On the
same day as the Phils resign Cliff Lee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her
spend-happy colleagues brought a 1,900-page spending plan to Congress that will
add an additional $1.1 trillion to the deficit.

This is completely senseless.
The country is in debt to the tune of $13.7 trillion and neither congress, nor
the president, have a clue to get this under control. One must wonder if they
care. They certainty don’t seem to understand that it’s a matter of spending,
not taxes.

The Phillies increased their
payroll beyond their desired limit, but they are already looking for ways to
reduce salaries by trading some higher paid players. Baseball is a business and
a team has to watch its bottom line.

The country is not a business,
but members of Congress—both Democrats and Republicans—must realize they’re
spending money that belongs to the people and it’s the people who will have to
pay off that debt—eventually—one way or the other.

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