“Houston, we’ve had a problem here.” With those low-key words, command module pilot Jack Swigert of Apollo 13 revealed that, in the later recollection of mission commander James A. Lovell, its “oxygen tank No. 2 blew up, causing No. 1 tank also to fail. We came to the slow conclusion that our normal supply of electricity, light, and water was lost, and we were about 200,000 miles from Earth.” NASA’s heroic and successful effort to return the crew safely home is part of national lore and history.
“Washington, we’ve had a problem here,” we, the voters, are saying, far more emphatically. The most recent government measure shows that America’s economic growth rate slowed, in the last quarter, to a rate of only 1.1 percent, about one-third of normal American economic growth rates.
This may not sound like a big deal. But it is. It means that job creation, including our ability to get better jobs, raises, bonuses and promotions, has vanished.
It means the death of the American Dream. Poor growth compounded over time is the prime cause of the collapse in people looking for work, the ballooning of the federal deficit, and the weakness in our social insurance programs, Social Security and Medicare.
Breaking News! There’s a solution, and the Wall Street Journal editorial board finally, for the first time, has weighed in to advocate that solution (or at least the process from which a solution can be derived):
One place for Congress to start would be to pass Rep.