If you’re like me, you’ve had roommates. And if you are also like me, you’ve engaged the services of shared utilities like electric power, telephone service both local and long distance, gas heat, garbage removal, water supply, shared consumables and (perhaps) interior maintenance and outdoor upkeep. Also: rent.

These things need to be paid for. And they need to be paid for in order for them to continue. Unpaid, the services stop, the landlord evicts, you and your roommates are homeless and without credit because you’ve stiffed every public and private utility in your jurisdiction, and you need to move away. And hopefully start over.

Or go live with mom.

In vogue lately among our Leadership Class are comparisons between our nation’s finances and the typical American household’s. These comparisons are, of course, utterly absurd and flawed. 1. No American household can legally print its own money and 2. No American household has benbernank’s helicopter full of cash on standby whenever bankers need it.

But let’s — for a moment and for purposes of the point of this post — presume the American government’s finances are just like the typical American family’s. (They are decidedly NOT, but let’s just go along with the idiots who rule us who’ve decided they like that analogy.)

In that scenario, to the rest of us — who live in typical American households whose finances they think their government is remotely like — it looks like DC is having the mother of all roommate battles over the bills. Bills that have already been tendered, money that’s already been spent. They are arguing, essentially, over pennies on the cable bill for the premium STARZ3 channel only one person watches, and who ordered the XXX-phonesex. They are squabbling over whether one’s space heater uses more electricity than the other’s hair dryer. They are having a knock-down drag-out, with incidentally imbecilic non-stop media attention, whether one’s aquarium heater uses more heat than opening the door to let the other’s dog out to poop. These people are taking America to the brink over a battle about whether the recycling penalty applies to their brown beer bottles or the unrecycleable lids from plastic containers. This is a fight about who bought more 12-pax of Keystone for the fridge last month and who filled the coffee-table bong more from his own private stash.

This is a fight every roommate household has had. We recognize it. I’ve seen it before, and you, dear reader, if you’re like me, probably have too.

And the government is having this fight at the top of their lungs, risking our tenancy and our neighbors’ goodwill, and our ability to continue to live in this house. And they simply will not stop!

If DC wants us to believe its finances are just like our households’, fine. Let’s say we believe that.

You know what we manage to do, every single fucking month, despite predatory bill collectors and student loan agencies, shyster landlords who won’t repair that bottom porch step, power companies that think a brownout is okay in record temperatures, credit card companies that change the due date every six months, and phone companies that are simply phone companies and therefore suck because phone companies always have?


So, DC? Give us a break with your high drama, please.

Figure it out. Deal with it.

Get it done. Stop being idiots. Stop being cable-ready drama queens.

Raise the stupid debt limit. Pay the bills. Let’s watch some Judge Judy before Comcast turns off the cable. And not watch STARZ3 because it costs too damn much. And no more XXX-phonesex. And drink less beer, or less of mine anyway.

But every American knows this: you’ve got to pay last month’s bills. Now.


Teddy Partridge

Teddy Partridge