“It is not clear yet what the tax-reform law is going to mean for the average taxpayer,” says Fred Wertheimer, president of Common Cause, the self-styled citizens’ lobby, “but Washington special-interest lobbyists have just landed in hog heaven.”

In December, your U.S. Congress delayed a possible government shutdown by passing a stopgap funding measure—a continuing resolution—keeping the government spending levels at status quo until Jan. 19 to buy Congress time to hash out a deal.

Also in December, the GOP Congress passed, and President Donald Trump signed, a $1.5 trillion (ten year) tax cut package meant for middle-class American households that actually favors businesses, corporations and the wealthy. The effects of the law add to future budget deficits and the national debt.

The GOP says the tax reform plan will be “rocket fuel for the economy” and that will be good news for most American households. Corporate tax reforms will add jobs, raise paychecks, help the economy grow and make America more competitive.

Congressional democrats and republicans, along with the Trump White House, are currently negotiating major issues in hopes of avoiding another government shutdown, which would derail any momentum the GOP tax cuts success would have generated.

The two sides are unwilling to compromise as they prepare for the 2018 midterm elections. On the table are plans for a $1 trillion infrastructure bill, a rewrite of immigration laws, including a DREAM Act for DACA recipients, extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), funding for a southern border wall and changes to entitlement programs such as Medicaid health programs for the needy and Medicare/Social Security coverage for seniors.

House Speaker Paul Ryan believes the debt is a threat to future generations and we must reform those bloated programs which are the root of the unsustainable spending programs.

His counterpart in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he won’t push for the spending limits to entitlements unless Senate democrats ask to make the changes bipartisan. That’s highly unlikely in an election year.

Haven’t we been through this before? Here is what Robert Kilpatrick, chairman of the Business Roundtable Budget Task Force, said about soaring federal budget deficits and the unsustainable national debt growth.

“I have worked hard with my colleagues to convince Congress and the President that this trend is simply unacceptable, indeed dangerous. But this is not just a business issue, and business alone cannot convince government to do what must be done.

“We are borrowing from abroad and from our children to pay for what we get from government today. This growing indebtedness can lead only to serious economic disruptions. If we do not stem the tide of the federal deficit, (in a short time) the interest bills alone will equal today’s deficit. It is already consuming almost 40 percent of total individual tax payments.

“We must make hard choices. If we are serious about reducing the deficit, we must focus on the big ticket items in the budget, and that includes Social Security and Medicare (plus Medicaid), and all the other non-means tested entitlements in which benefits are paid without respect to income or assets.

“We speak of special interests that get in the way of solutions to the deficit. We are the special interest. We should take great care to protect the truly needy, but the rest of us must bear our fair share of the burden.”

Virtually every program in the budget should be frozen at last year’s level; many should be cut further, and some should be eliminated. It is important to subject programs enacted in past years to the same tough standards we impose on new ideas.

“As Congress debates the budget, every constituency will want its favorite programs (sacred cows) protected…every one of us will want at least one cut restored. But if any of us win, we will all lose.

“Write your Senators and Congress members and tell them we understand we all must give a little to solve the deficit crisis. Tell them to support a budget package that provides for proportionately equal cuts in all spending areas.

“Ask for compromise that is fair and equitable to everyone (you can’t always get everything you want on a partisan basis). Tell them no single constituency, no program, is as important as the nation’s economy (and well-being).”

I should tell you now that the quotes from Fred Wertheimer and Robert Kilpatrick, chairman of CIGNA Corporation, were made in June of 1985, nearly 33 years ago when Ronald Reagan was president.

Even as times change, history repeats itself. We tend to think the end is near if we don’t get our way. Be satisfied with compromise and just be glad we’re able to live in such a great country…America.