So the other day, Cato Institute’s Ted DeHaven compared Treasury Secretary Timmy Geitner to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. DeHaven pointed out that the Obama administration’s opening proposal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff”  trotted out by Geitner was about as ridiculous and insulting to congressional Republicans as the NHL owners first offer to players in the continuing NHL lockout was.

Seems to me the analogy is pretty accurate.

Weeks after Bettman’s offer to settle, I’m still stuck watching Russian Premier League hockey. And after Geitner’s little speech, we are still hurtling toward that fiscal cliff at high speed.

But as a hockey player, I think we can take the analogy further.

We have Republicans acting like Sean “the Turtle” Avery, or for some of you long-time fans, maybe Claude Lemeiux. You know, running their yaps, taking the occasional cheap shot,  generally stirring things up. But refusing to drop the gloves and really fight it out. Let’s be real here – the Republicans don’t have any more intention of actually dealing with the spending problem in D.C. than the Democrats do.

What the American people need is a real enforcer. A Bob Probert or a Tie Domi. You know, somebody who will drop the gloves and actually stand toe-to-toe and fight. Admit it, you would love to see Domi pull Geitner into the penalty box with him like he did to that Philly fan a few years ago.

Granted, there are a few principled guys out there. Rep. Justin Amash and Rep. Tim Huelskamp come to mind. For their principled stand on actually cutting spending, John Boehner played zebra and threw them in the sin-bin for a major penalty – removing them from their seats on the budget committee.

In all seriousness, something has to be done, and neither Democrats nor Republicans appear to be serious about making the structural changes necessary to avoid the fiscal cliff in the long-term.  Oh yeah, I’m sure they’ll reach a some kind of compromise before the deadline. But it will be nothing more than icing the puck. A desperation move that serves only to put things off a little longer.

Sadly, when people like Ron Paul or Justin Amash suggest real, substantive cuts, or reforms to the entitlement system, everybody screams, “We can’t do that!”

But as Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

It’s time to take some shots.

Mike Maharrey

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