Ryan Alexander is the president of Taxpayers for Common Sense.
Last week the 113th Congress was sworn in. While newly elected members of Congress are still finding their way around the House and Senate office buildings and hiring staff, they are expected to get right to work on the major fiscal challenges facing the country. Here's hoping they use common sense in addressing the problems we face with some clarity and humility we didn't see from the 112th Congress.
More than anywhere else I can think of, Congress is no place to let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Absolutely we want our elected representatives to strive for the best outcomes they can get for taxpayers, but given the vast differences in priorities and ideologies of sitting Members of Congress, there is no legislation that looks perfect to all 535.
So what to do in the face of this gridlock?
I'm not suggesting any of this will be easy. What gets candidates elected to Congress is often their ability to galvanize people with soaring or scathing rhetoric and skills that don't always go along with the nuanced reasoning and civil, diplomatic negotiating skills needed to make sound legislative deals. But it is necessary. We can't afford another do-nothing Congress. We need to make government work.